Candid’s Fashion & Grooming Editor, Ross Pollard looks at what we could be doing differently on one of the world’s most renowned shopping days – Black Friday.
Fashion finds itself in the midst of the focus on sustainability. Waste is increasing and environmental damage from the industry is a growing concern for many. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation recently released a report* highlighting the amount of clothes that are destroyed without use:
“Globally, customers miss out on USD 460 billion of value each year by throwing away clothes that they could continue to wear… Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing”
With this in mind Po-Zu and the company’s founder Sven Segal, have launched a campaign to change the way we purchase clothes and footwear.
A benchmark for change
The label, famous for its handmade vegan shoes, has become a benchmark in representing change in the industry and they were the first-ever winners of the Best Ethical Label award chosen by Harold Tillman at the FashionWorked Awards in 2017 (Yes, he awards that I founded, and I’m very proud to have handed Po-Zu the golden hippo).
“We want our customers to recognise the power they have to change these practices and halt the damage fast fashion is doing to our planet today, simply by mending what you have, supporting ethical brands, and helping to spread the word.”
Increasingly Black Friday has become a retail powerhouse with The Guardian reporting that sales grew 6% in 2017 compared to the year before, and its believed sales hit a staggering £1.4 billion – that’s a lot of goods!
Is Black Friday bad for the planet
But could it be that while the ailing High Street needs a shot in the arm, that Black Friday is actually bad for the planet? By the way, as the Black Friday spend is increasingly moving online, the halo effect for bricks-and-mortar stores is going to be a decreasing return.
Amongst all the email blasts, the newspaper advertising and the TV campaigns to get us into a buying mindset, are we actually pouring cash into things we neither want or need?
A quick go-round of friends revealed that nearly all of them have ended up with clothes they never actually wore due to the offers that seemed irresistible at the time. The production of all these unwanted garments is having an effect on the planet and the factory workers making them.
Kate Osborne, on launching the Po-Zu campaign said, “Sustainable fashion is competing on a completely unlevel playing field and this is especially apparent during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday holiday season. The reason fast fashion businesses can afford to discount so heavily is that somewhere along the supply chain, someone has paid the price – be it environmentally or through sweatshop labour”
Celebrate Green Friday
I’d like to pose you (clever pun on Po-Zu right?) a challenge: this Black Friday, think before you buy, do you really want that basket full of goodies at low, low prices, or could you look at more sustainable long-term options?
That said, I will be taking advantage of the Green Friday Po-Zu have running until the end of the month, not because I’m in a buying frenzy, or because I’m a Star Wars fan, but I’ve coveted a pair of Porg High Tops for months.
*Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, (2017).
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