It’s no secret that the world we know is slowly becoming more and more polluted as each day passes. We’ve had many warning signs and pretty much ignored them since day one. But now with experts and environmentalists alike pleading with the world to act, we have no choice but to listen. It has been made clear that all damage done so far is irreversible; however, if we want to see a brighter future, we need to act now.
It’s also no secret that these big brands we know and love so much are some of the biggest culprits of said pollution, with fast fashion being responsible for 10% of the world’s pollution and waste. In recent years environmentalists have come forward and called out some very big names for not being more sustainable. Their argument being that these companies have a huge influence on consumers, the amount of product they produce and sell each day has a huge impact on the world’s waste. Many brands fought back claiming they were more sustainable than they let on, and those who were shamed quickly changed pace.
So what are the ways these brands can become more environmentally friendly while still being appealing to the general public? In simple terms, they can make better choices. Brands right now are known for being ‘fast’, meaning they produce massive quantities of product in a very short space of time.
The only way to do this is to use cheap materials and overpack factories with (underpaid) workers. Now can you imagine how much waste this is producing daily, not only in materials but energy and water waste too? Think about how many factories have full power going 24/7 so these companies can keep up with their demands. Now think about how much material is going to waste due to errors, scraps and over-ordering.
These brands can cut down their waste production by over 40% just by cutting down on cheap materials and over production. There are many ways to use more sustainable materials such as: using recyclable materials, in the case of waste it can be repurposed instead of thrown in the dump. Many brands have now come out with a line of sustainable clothing, which yes is a step in the right direction, but it has been questioned how much of it is truly sustainable. And if it is, why not make EVERY item in your catalogue sustainable? I mean we get it, it takes a lot more money and effort to find sustainable materials and switch them out for the cheap stuff, but for the sake of our environment and your morality, I think it’s worth it.
Brands such as H&M and Primark have recently brought out their ‘better for the earth’ lines, but many people are speculating whether these lines are better for the environment or if they’re the same products with a new name slapped on the tags. People are now choosing to shop with upfront sustainable brands and smaller businesses instead to ensure they are getting the environmentally friendly product they desire and not a possible knock off.
As well as the issue surrounding material waste, there is another aspect of these brands that has become a big topic of discussion in recent years. It has never been a secret that these brands choose to employ as many people as possible to fulfil their demands. . With things such as next-day delivery and express delivery, it’s not an unreasonable thing to do. However, what is unethical is the conditions these poor people are forced to work in. It has been reported that nearly every major company has people working in disgusting conditions such as cramped spaces for several hours at a time, unhygienic workspaces and to top it off they are very underpaid.
Many of these workers choose to stay as they have no other choice due to having families to provide for and no better options, these brands exploit this problem, choosing to allow them to work under horrendous circumstances. Under investigations, it has been found brands have neglected their staff, not following official regulations. It has been reported that a large number of said workers were found in unsafe conditions and had become victims of workplace neglect, abuse and worse. All for less than minimum wage. These brands of course have denied all allegations for the most part, putting on an act that they love their employees and are in fact taking care of them. Which is a bold move when you have stacks of evidence against you. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t all brands, so be careful who you decide to shun next time you go shopping.
How are these companies being allowed to get away with this?
What should be done is these brands should be forced to compensate each employee that has had to suffer these conditions and moving forward they should be forced to comply with all official regulations and checks. Failure to do so should result in fines and maybe even prison time. This is another reason why many consumers are now choosing to do deeper research into a brand before buying from them.
So, I think it’s safe to say that brands have a VERY long way to go before they become more ethically correct. he small steps they seem to be taking are in the right direction, that’s if they are truly doing this. Let’s just hope that in the future they decide to jump onboard with saving our planet
Lauren is a content writer that is creating her own book and aspires to become a published author. While writing content, she also spends her time performing as an actress for different projects presented to her.