Love Island, the hit reality TV show that famously made big influencers like Molly-Mae Hague famous, recently switched its primary sponsorship to eBay from fast fashion brands, such as I Saw It First and Missguided.
While these kinds of public statements will orient popular consciousness towards the virtues of responsible fashion, the fashion industry remains largely trapped in a vicious circle of poor quality, mass production and hyper-frequency collection releases. Consumer demand and a thriving social media ecosystem are largely funding the continuation of business as usual, with serious consequences for water use and quality, material waste and labor fairness. In addition, industry is responsible for 10 percent of all global emissions and consumes more energy than aviation and shipping combined.
Sustainable solutions to these harmful trends – such as upcycled fabrics and second-hand business models – have not yet been massively adopted and the cultural biases that drive hyper-consumption are still prevalent. So how can influencers and consumers transform the fashion industry to make it more responsible? How can we channel the Gen Z obsession with the latest looks into a celebration of durability and reusability? How can we present “old” or “used” clothing as the “new new” and encourage companies to adopt new business models?