People tend to put the climate issues on everyday individuals by making metal straws become a trend or pushing recycling in every way possible. However, the biggest contributors to climate change are major corporations and businesses. In this episode of Millennial Minute, we talk about the luxury fashion industry and its harmful habit of destroying older products to protect exclusivity. Host Julia Sun sits down with Young Voices contributor Jen Sidorova and the Executive Director of Feminists for Liberty Kat Murti to discuss if this should be allowed.
Aren’t there alternatives for fashion waste?
Instead of making a million Burberry coats, why not just make fewer? Murti absolutely agrees with this alternative. She believes that high-fashion brands such as Burberry are marketing their brand around exclusivity. These brands typically only want a few people to be able to get their products. Murti brings up a good point; if that is the case, then producing a lower amount of products would increase what they would charge for them. Not only that, but the additional waste will cut out completely if they do this. If these high-fashion brands capitalize on being more environmentally friendly, they would probably see a significant increase in sales, even if they did hike up the prices.
Sidorova, on the other hand, brings up the point of manufacturing. Moving forward, if these companies were able to relax regulations, they would move manufacturers closer to the consumer. In America, manufacturing has lots of regulations, which is why these major brands have moved their production overseas. Relaxing these laws and maybe making tax breaks for them could incentivize them to be more environmentally aware.
Who is actually responsible?
Murti made a point in her opening statement that consumers ultimately should be the ones to decide pretty much anything. That includes the level of environmental awareness that these companies have. However, not all consumers are aware of these kinds of issues. If that’s the case, then who should step in? Murti states that there has been an increase in brands actively aware of these kinds of issues. Their chief marketing message is based on everything they are doing to address waste. This is the direct result of consumers actually caring about these issues. Even fashion magazines such as Vogue are opening up conversations about the flaws and problems within the luxury fashion and textile industry. The more people who raise awareness about these issues, the more ideas will combat them.
For more on the fashion industry, check out this video.