Topshop launched what they are calling their 'Considered' collection this week and I'm not buying it. (Pun intended).
I usually keep an open mind when it comes to fast fashion retailers entering into the sustainable fashion space, because I do believe change has to start somewhere and not every customer is going to make the switch over night to buying less or buying secondhand. However, this latest collection from Topshop misses the mark for me and falls far below the current (relatively low) benchmark set by its competitors.
The range ‘boasts’ a disappointing commitment to using 50% Organic Cotton, 50% Lyocell and a mere 20% Recycled Poly or Cotton and furthermore they dangerously imply that sustainable fabrics are poor quality saying they "put quality at the forefront of our designs" to justify their fabric choices. This simply isn't true, there are some great sustainable fabric qualities out there and Topshop's closest competitors are already using them and have been for a while. I just bought a dress on the high street made from 100% Lenzing Ecovero viscose, one of the leading sustainable qualities out there.
This highlights the need for more regulation on the fashion industry in terms of what meets the standard of sustainability, as recommended in the Environmental Audit Committee’s Fixing Fashion Report. Unfortunately all 18 recommendations made in this report which aimed to hold fashion brands and retailers accountable for their actions and raise overall standards in the fashion industry, were rejected by our government. You can read more about that here: https://eco-age.com/news/government-responds-fixing-fashion-report
In the meantime what can we do but shop consciously and call out fashion brands when we think they can do better. It's great to see retailers adding more sustainable materials to their mixes but when it's a handful of styles in an assortment of thousands using a tiny percentage of those sustainable materials, it looks like an attempt to tick the sustainability box rather than truly do good.