In the dynamic world of sustainable fashion, last week brought a flurry of updates. Let's delve into the highlights:
1. Primark's Sustainability 'Progress'
Primark's latest Sustainability Report revealed a notable increase in the use of recycled or sustainably sourced materials, reaching 55% from the previous year's 45%. However, a deeper dive into the report prompts reflection. Despite the positive stride in materials, there's a significant question lingering: How much carbon is truly saved by this shift?
Understanding the context is crucial: Primark's scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions play pivotal roles in their environmental impact. Here's a brief breakdown:
- Scope 1 Emissions: Direct emissions that a company makes directly — for example while running its boilers and vehicles.
- Scope 2 Emissions: Indirect emissions from purchased electricity or heating.
- Scope 3 Emissions: Indirect emissions, including the entire supply chain For example, from buying products from its suppliers, factories that manufacture their clothing, and from its products when we use them. Emissions-wise, Scope 3 is nearly always the big one.
Primark reported a concerning increase of 11% in their carbon emissions over the past year. Despite reductions in scope 1 and 2 emissions, the rise in scope 3 emissions was attributed to the increased volume of materials used to cater to the higher product sales. i.e. they are making much much more clothing.
While acknowledging the positive strides in material sourcing, it's pivotal to evaluate the holistic impact on the environment. This acts as a reminder for us to delve deeper into sustainability claims and consider the broader implications of fashion consumption. We need to look past stats without context to understand when they might be being used for greenwashing.
2. Lidl's Rentable Christmas Jumpers
Lidl has taken an initial step toward sustainable fashion by making Christmas jumpers available for rent on platforms By Rotation. Renting outfits for special occasions like Christmas parties, weddings, or holidays is gaining momentum. The idea of minimising the cost per wear for items that might only be worn occasionally is not only economically savvy but also a win for the environment. We recommend looking at apps like Hurr, My Wardrobe HQ, and Cocoon Club (for handbags) to easily rent clothes and accessories.
3. VEJA's Repair Initiative
VEJA made a significant statement by skipping Black Friday and introducing 'Free Repair Friday' at their cobblers across Europe. Embracing the ethos of "Stop buying, start repairing," the brand accepted all sneaker brands for repairs, encouraging a shift towards sustainable consumption. VEJA's Darwin project, initiated in 2020, focuses on reducing waste by cleaning, restoring, and recycling worn-out sneakers. While currently in Europe, this initiative's success might pave its way to the UK.
Stay tuned for more sustainable fashion updates to keep your eco-conscious wardrobe evolving!