With the aim of raising the awareness on the environmental and social impacts of the fast fashion industry, the European Commission has funded the Beyond Your Clothes campaign. Less than 1% of all textiles worldwide are currently recycled into new garments. Recycling is under an immense pressure with the exponential increase of fast fashion.
What is special about the Beyond Your Clothes campaign?
This non-profit campaign had for main objective to inform and raise awareness on a rising issue; the environmental consequences and social impact of the fast fashion industry.
The context of this bold campaign is also truly particular, being built during an ‘extra-ordinary’ conjuncture of a covid-19 pandemic. Therefore all parts involved did their ultimate best to convey a serious and sometimes frightening reality in a ludic and informative way, trying to avoid patronizing or shocking an already overwhelmed audience
How do you see the role of industry here, and what is the role of the consumer?
Like in every industry the fashion industry is determined by the law of supply and demand. The Beyond Your Clothes campaign just looks at the demand side, while other campaigns concentrate on the supply side. In an ideal world, consumers will no longer demand fast fashion but only sustainable fashion and much less of it, hence, the supply will need to change. To reach this ideal world, it is necessary to inform the consumers about sustainable fashion consumption to slowly change their consuming behavior.
What could a sustainable textile and apparel industry look like in future?
Sorry we would rather let experts answer this question.
To what extent are social aspects also important in the Beyond Your Clothes campaign?To reach sustainability you have to look at all three aspects of sustainability: the social, the environmental and the economic aspects. Therefore, social aspects are as important as the environmental aspects in the Beyond Your Clothes campaign and are tackled equally. But to transmit a message in a very short period of time, as necessary in social media, environmental consequences are a more powerful visual tool. Everybody understands in a second that pink is not the natural color of a river. Social aspects, as e.g., the lack of employment contracts, are not so easy to illustrate.