UK High street. WAKE UP!
An open letter to the UK high street
Firstly I would like to start off with a Thankyou, to all the corporate giants, for providing stuff at increasing low prices, that the mass market consumes at a rate which no one can keep up with, resulting in further low prices, and a whole lot of stuff on an increasingly overpopulated landfill which in a few years time will run out of space.
But its fine of course because there is supply and demand.
This demand fuelled by an ever increasing egotistical culture, an overspill from the manufacturing of the celebrity, the idolisation of these puppets created by the machine for the machine.
The purpose served being dissemination, to influence and persuade and create demand with the ultimate goal being more profit. The bottom line and profit being the ultimate focus.
With the digital age providing the perfect outlet for mind control, and also in dehumanisation, and with an ever increasing audience of the cash rich and time poor, there we have the perfect formula for the want want want generation.
Do we consumer, retailer and supplier, ever stop to think about how we get what we want? Like really think about it. Who makes our clothes and who pays the price?
What do we really want?
or WHAT DO WE REALLY NEED?
The current fashion industry model has become dated and unethical.
I am growing more and more concerned at the lack of transparency and responsibility of market leaders. The rate of consumption and aggressive supply and demand all of which is not sustainable.
WE REALLY NEED CHANGE!
So below is my SHOPPING LIST:
A CHANGE from this consumerism that we are currently governed by.
STANDING UP to some of the biggest brands in the world and saying:
Do something that takes little effort but makes a big difference.
Starting with PRICE POINTS.
A sensitive subject perhaps for those especially who are struggling to get by and who perhaps appreciate the choice of buying cheap products. But a lot of the time at the cost of peoples lives.
Do we want cheap products enough to encourage cheap labour also underground manufacturing in some of the poorest parts of the world? And throwaway fashion that now is impacting not only the manufacturers environment but our own.
So what else do we need?
FAIR PRICES yes. For the consumer and also for the supplier
Why should the consumer have to pay rocket high prices for goods, it should be a collaborative effort by all involved
Global corporations need to take a look at the bigger picture, realise that in their quest for profit, notoriety and globalisation that moral and ethical practices are not compromised, and lso why should the supplier be bullied into low prices and risk going bankrupt for the sake of maintaining business relationships.
So that means companies working to LOWER PROFIT MARGINS.
Yes maybe affecting your bottom line a little bit, but for the sake of social responsibility, that is a small price to pay,
OPERATING A FAIR TRADE POLICY
Ensuring that each supplier involved understands the implications of outsourcing to uncredited factories
We don't want to force companies to source illegal and immoral practices to meet our want in the uk for fast fashion.
A MORE STRINGENT STRATEGY THAT INCLUDES CHARITABLE WORK to benefit the communities that produces goods to help them out of poverty and making them partners of a bigger picture.
MORE ARTISAN SKILLED PRODUCTS
Encouraging local craft manship and rewarding this by paying fair prices.
MORE DOMESTIC PRODUCTS
More designers in the uk to learn a craft and to develop home grown talent. More UK based production.
EDUCATING YOUNGSTERS THAT QUALITY MEANS MORE THAN QUANTITY
Starting with a module being introduced at schools on the social effects of fast fashion on society both home and away.
Make, mend and Share
Encouraging making your own garments and learnng a new craft, mending and passing onto loved ones or charity.
More recycling schemes in large high street stores like, intimissi m and s and h and m, promoting this and encouraging and rewarding consumers who partake.
The uk clothing sector is responsible for more than 3m tonnes of co2 emissions.
consuming 2..16m tonnes of clothing and textiles/year, spending approx £38.4bn on clothing alone.
with approx 2m tonnes of clothing and textiles waste generated in the uk/year of which 1.2 tonnes (63%) is disposed of to landfill. only 23% is collected for re-use/recycling in both the uk and overseas.
Households in the uk send more than 18.8m tonnes of rubbish to landfill every year-2m tonnes more than any other country in the EU.
Anyone serious about climate change should support efforts to recycle.
COLLABORATIONS with artists and designers for unique pieces (these could be higher priced items) like h and m (stella mcartney karl lagerfeld etc) were jncredibly successful and ted baker working with bloggers, or high profile celebrities, just look at the buzz that someone like Kate moss has on the mass market, her collaboration with top shop is still successful almost a decade after her first hit! And fendi recently collaborated with 10 of the most inspiring women of the decade for a kids company charity, the hype and publicity at these two recent events is incredible and a formula which obviously works.
NO MORE THROWAWAY FASHION
As long as there is a demand and factories are willing to supply that demand, this problem and it is a problem, will not go away
The landfills are filled enough as it is..
LANDFILL SPACE IN BRITAIN ALONE WILL RUN OUT IN A MATTER OF YEARS UNLESS RECYLCING RATES ARE BOOSTED AND THE AMOUNT OF RUBBISH DUMPED INTO THE GROUND IS REDUCED.
If Britain keeps throwing away rubbish at its current rates, it will run out of space by 2018 (I wrote this letter in 2014, the problem has been realised). We send 1.5 million tonnes of clothing to Landfill each year, this has increased. This is about 1.5% of the total. Clothing sent to landfill is problematic in a number of ways, many synthetic fabrics do not decompose, the natural fabrics that do produce methane which contributes to global warming. Unless action is taken soon this problem will get worse each year, people bought a third more clothing in 2006 than they did in 2002, whilst consumption may have slowed due to the economic crisis.
A little bit of change by every single one of us, consumer, retailer and supplier will make a difference, thats what I want and thats what I need.
How can we make this happen?
What can we do?
Write to the government
Follow fashion revolution, war on want and other movements for change on social media streams
Support local artists, designers and businesses
Recycle, pass onto friends things you no longer need, give to charity sell on eBay, asos marketplace, host swap parties
Put pressure on the high street to 'wake up'.
Make some noise..Disrupt the system because it needs a shake up!
Change needs to happen.
I believe in people power. We can all make a difference. If we want to. We certainly need to.
Concerned designer and consumer with growing resentment towards the high street for immoral and unethical practices