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Fashion’s Climate Emergency

It’s no secret that fast fashion is unsustainable, despite government attempts to keep this fact hidden. They talk about making our homes energy efficient, using public transport and eating locally, but fast fashion always seems to forgo a mention. 

But it needs urgent attention. Not only are we consuming fashion made of material harmful to the environment, we’re consuming it at an alarming rate.

A lot of us love fashion, and a lot of us are simply unaware that our purchasing habits are causing so much environmental destruction. How many people name fashion when they talk about what they perceive to be the most environmentally damaging industries?

This is why we need the government to make change. They are the ones who are in control, with the power and ability to make fashion a better industry.

In this political climate, the government has a fair amount of distractions going on. That’s why my suggestion to them is just listen. While the government is busy sorting out its own issues, there are individuals and organisations who are dedicating their working lives to making fashion more sustainable. 

The environmental audit committee which was put together by the government in order to improve sustainability earlier this year released a series of recommendations to improve sustainability in the fashion industry.

These recommendations were set out by a team of people who know what they’re talking about. They created these recommendations because they knew that they are needed in order to stop the damage fast fashion is doing not only to the planet, but to people too.

But the government rejected every single recommendation. They barely even gave the report a thought. This seems a little strange, considering the governments aim of net zero emissions by 2050.

Theresa May who was prime minister at the time the environmental audit committees report was released even noted that there was a ‘moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we inherited.’Yet they choose to ignore recommendations that would help in this mission. 

Annoyed by the government being seemingly unbothered by the report, I decided to write to my local MP stating how upset I was with the decision. He gave me a response stating that the government are trying to reduce the harm of fast fashion and listed a few other projects they are backing.

He did not acknowledge the problem. He did not acknowledge my concerns. As a citizen I want to be listened too. I am only 21 years old and I am concerned about the harm that fast fashion is doing to the environment and how that could affect my generations future.

If I could advise the government on sustainability in fashion I would say just listen. Listen to those who have done research in this area, listen to us who write blogs about the damage of fast fashion, listen to those who protest at London fashion week. We know what needs to be done, but we need the governments power to make it happen.


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