“Love Island,” the hit reality TV show that brought major influencers like Molly-Mae Hague to fame, recently switched its primary sponsorship to eBay from fast fashion brands, like I Saw It First and Missguided.
While this kind of public statement will orient popular consciousness toward the virtues of responsible fashion, the fashion industry largely remains trapped in a vicious cycle of poor quality, mass production and hyper-frequent collection releases. In large part, consumer demand and a thriving social media ecosystem fund the continuation of business as usual, with dire consequences for water usage and quality, material waste and labor justice. In addition, the 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 — like upcycled fabrics and secondhand business models — haven’t yet been adopted en masse, and the cultural preferences driving hyper-consumption still reign. How, then, 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 sustainability and reusability? How can we present “old” or “used” clothing as the “new new” and encourage companies to adopt new business models?
In this thought-provoking session on July 28 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic at The New York Times, will be joined by:
Shaway Yeh, founder, yehyehyeh
Brett Staniland, model, academic and sustainable fashion advocate
Chloe Asaam, program manager, OR Foundation
Rona Perry, manager, The New York Times
We look forward to welcoming you to our conversation.