Sustainability is a hot topic in fashion – and for good reason. The fashion industry is one of the largest in the world, accounting for 2% of the global economy. According to a recent study by the Queensland University of Technology, we consume a mind-blowing 80 billion pieces of new clothing per year – a 400% increase in two decades. Unfortunately, in Australia alone, over 85% of new garments are sent to landfill within 12 months. Why? Because of fast fashion. In this blog, I’ll explore the environmental impacts of fast fashion, and why quality always beats quantity.
What is fast fashion and why is it harmful?
Fast fashion refers to cheaply made, low-priced products that copy the latest catwalk styles. These products get mass-produced to capitalise on current trends. If you wore a pirate shirt in the 90’s or a tube top in the early 2000’s, you’ve probably purchased fast fashion – but it’s really begun to boom recently.
From 2010 to 2015, fast fashion retailers increased by a whopping 9.7%. That means more people are spending money on cheap, inferior, de jour pieces made from non-sustainable synthetic materials like polyester, nylon and acrylic. They wear these items once or twice before deciding to throw them out – either because they go out of fashion, or they simply fall to pieces. As a result, the textile industry is depleting non-renewable resources, emitting dangerous greenhouse gases, and using more energy, chemicals and water than ever. In fact, fashion is now one of the biggest polluters in the world, second only to oil. It’s a pretty scary situation. Something has got to give.
How is dog&boy different?
The difference between dog&boy and fast fashion brands is that our scarves are designed to last. We use 100% pure, natural fibres – like silk, cotton, wool and cashmere – all of the highest quality. Not only are these better for the planet, as sustainable materials biodegrade, they also last much longer than cheap, nasty, synthetic fabrics.
In terms of design, dog&boy is sustainable because we don’t follow trends. We draw inspiration from current season colours, but our prints are completely unique. That means dog&boy scarves will last much longer than a spring fling. Our timeless, versatile designs will see you every season, year after year, regardless of what’s ‘on trend’. Just look at some of our latest scarf designs like Tempus, Peonies and Perception, and tell me you couldn’t love them forever. To paraphrase the late Coco Chanel, “Fashion fades, but style is eternal”.
Plus, the endless array of styling options makes dog&boy scarves the perfect companion all year round – rain, hail or shine. With a few strategically placed knots, you can take any scarf from a winter to summer. Now that’s return on your fashion investment!
What about offshore manufacturing?
You may know that dog&boy scarves are manufactured in China. While we’d love to
manufacture in Australia, it’s just not commercially viable. At least now right now. In the past, there’s been a negative perception around Chinese manufacturing, but it’s been a great experience for dog&boy.
Contrary to popular belief, China has strong policies around the environment and ethics, with huge advances in recent years. In fact, the most recent five-year plan for China puts environment near the top of the list, as a key priority going forward. The plan emphasises a cleaner, greener economy, with a strong commitment to environmental management and protection. It also focuses on clean energy and emission controls, ecological protection, plus the development and security of green industries. This is brilliant for environmentally-conscious businesses like dog&boy.
When it comes to sustainability, I believe you don’t have to be perfect to make a positive impact. At dog&boy, we do our best to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint. With our sustainable materials, timeless designs and versatile styling options, I think we’re doing pretty well!
How can you help?
If you want to dress more sustainably, steer away from fast fashion. It’s not about being perfect, but more about being mindful. Choose pieces you really love and look for environmentally-friendly materials. Remember, every cheap item you DON’T buy makes a difference to the environment. Plus, you usually get what you pay for. With dog&boy you get true luxury, without the luxury price tag.
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