The Fashion Elephant

After a decade of Copenhagen Fashion Summit’s, the last held in May 2019,  finally this summer somebody startede talking about the elephant in the room – the overconsumption of clothes and the underlaying doing business (as usual) model. I would have expected the Fashion Summit to have taken up this issue a longe time ago, but maybe their courage failed them, or their cooperating sponsors didn’t like the messages … and instead it had to be a joint collision, the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, UCRF – that addresses this obviously important issue. What a missed opportunity for the Fashion Summit to be part of addressing real change.

Because, it has to be now, we change course on this giant supertanker. We need to change at a systemic level in an industry, where to much business does not work for our common good. The amount of, and the kind of textiles and clothes being manufactured today is causing scarcity of our common resources, pollution along the value chain where also work conditions are often not acceptable. We can not accept this any longer. This must stop now. Change will come, either because we run of track, or because we decide it is time now.

Concerned Researchers like Kate Fletcher from UK and Danish Else Skjold from KADK are pointing to the fact that talking about the need for change is not enough. ‘Discussing the same ideas that originally originated in the late 80’s and early 90’s is nothing to celebrate. If we look at the trend in sustainability in fashion over the past 30 years, we see that we have not progressed at all,’ the researchers point at this in a critical comment. Here interviewed in a Danish magasin, and here some of the same points in English at ECO-AGE.

The challenges created by overconsumption in the field of fashion in the Global North is in some cases moved to the Global South. E.g. by selling used clothes collected in Denmark and other countries in EU for reuse in for example Ghana, but with a 40 % waste in the bales. The hole system is sick and must come to a stop and be changed. Read what The fashion Revolution has written about this subject here: dead white mens clothes.

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