The world of fashion may glitter with temptation, but it leaves in its wake, exploited, abused and impoverished communities and a fast depleting planet. We now face a new phenomenon. Greenwashing - the deceptive art of false labeling – giving the buyer the impression of an ethical supply chain and low environmental impact. Things are beginning to change thanks to global pioneers, like Dr Lee Ann Teal, designer, entrepreneur, campaigner and keynote speaker whose Impact Fashion Hub is at the heart of an acceleration towards sustainable fashion.
This is one of the most exciting and creative industries around - delivering on three main areas: Restoring to the planet what we use in natural resource, revitalizing the economies in those communities where cheap and disposable labor has been for too long exploited and imaginatively reviving clothes once worn.
The reasons are clear. For too long we have worn the latest in-fashion clothes, then discarded them as trends quickly move on. It is one of the shortest life-cycles of any product - from a few nights out on the town to landfill. And each purchase has already contributed to immense human damage and helped endanger our planet. Sweatshops, low wages, exploitation of the women who work there has created a human crisis in some of the world’s poorest communities. The industry’s environmental impact is off the scale – it produces 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world's water supply and pollutes the oceans with micro-plastics.
Thanks to the leadership of Dr Lee Ann Teal communities in Lagos in Nigeria and Budapest in Hungary will soon move from being economically exploited to fashion producers earning a fair return on their labors – injecting growth into the local communities.