Are you sustainable? What is sustainable and why do fashion brands want you to think they are?

If you take a moment to search “what is sustainable September” you will come across a variety of meetings and discussion forums on how we become more sustainable, with a major conference pencilled in for Rome and a series of other events scattered across the month. Were you aware there was a Sustainable September? 

It’s part of a continual ‘just off the radar’ approach the powers-that-be take to all of this. It remains in the shadows enough that you don’t know what is going on, but just enough light on it for them to say “ah, but you knew!”

You probably find the whole subject boring and have already drifted off to whatever brain rotting app is currently flavour of the month.

If you are still reading, thank you for caring about your surroundings and the damage we are doing to them.

Green Button Initiative

In a bid to visibly tackle the problem, governments and major fashion brands announced a series of initiatives in 2019.

The German government unveiled the Green Button Initiative, which was the world’s first sustainable textile label. It was set up to identify products that were produced using fair and ecological methods. The initiative means companies must fulfil 26 different social and environmental standards.

Companies are under no obligation to sign up, and the initiative fails to cover the cotton field, spinning or weaving.

It was an attempt, but not ambitious enough, sometimes falling short of existing best practice. The idea could form the genesis of a more stringent approach to fashion brands.

If you want to sell your products in this country, you HAVE to sign up to our initiative. I see this as a much more proactive approach to the problem.

(Re)Collection Diesel

Another collaboration from 2019 was Diesel and Coca-Cola, where they created a clothing range called (Re)Collection. This incorporated recycled PET from Coca-Cola plastic bottles and recycled cotton to form new garments.

Coca-Cola simply moved their plastic waste problem into the textile world.

With the plastic / cotton mix, what happens to this clothing when it reaches its end of use? Landfill. That’s where. Well done guys.

Timberland Nature Needs Heroes

Timberland pledged to plant 50 million trees by 2025 as part of its 2019 campaign.

This was part of its ‘Nature Needs Heroes’ campaign where 12 eco-heroes wore Timberland products against a city greenscape background.

Somewhere, in Timberland HQ, there are marketing whizzes getting big bonuses for having dreamed up this nonsense.

What Is Sustainable September?

The incessant greed of these corporations needs window dressing and ‘Sustainable September’ is that dressing.

Sustainable /səˈsteɪnəb(ə)l/

  1. Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
  2. Able to be upheld or defended.

Sustainable only works if we, the consumers, just stop consuming

Telling us they are offsetting carbon is smoke and mirrors and they know it as we don’t truly understand what carbon offsetting means and they know it.

For Sustainable September this year, I challenge you to purchase NOTHING and live with your current wardrobe. Mix it up. Reinvent something. Find something you forgot you had. Be sustainable.

September was chosen for the alliteration and they may as well have chosen F*ck all changes” February.

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