Image source: Stepping out of the Crowd
“The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world … second only to oil,” said Eileen Fisher.
With shopping often cited as a primary reason for travel – indeed, amongst young Asian travelers, shopping is high on the itinerary in both Asian destinations and abroad (Stepping out of the Crowd, PATA) – how can we in the tourism industry make an impact when thinking about shopping as an activity for tourists, and clothing as a necessity for ourselves?
Clothing is something we need and use every day. The first thing is to educate ourselves, create awareness, and “Make Climate Change Fashionable.” Books and movies like Overdressed and True Cost tell the story of fast fashion and its relationship to our planet and people.
Alternatives to traditional fashion are plentiful and growing as more light is shed on the topic:
- Buying consignment (on the flip side, you can donate old clothing, sheets, towels, etc., to organisations such as GoodWill or Salvation Army which will recycle fabrics for you)
- Buying fair trade
- Buying affordable, sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical fashion
Even big name retailers such as H&M (Conscious Collection), Patagonia, Stella McCartney, ASOS, and Levi’s have all made tangible commitments to weave the wellbeing of our planet and people into their business. Let’s do the same and make a (fashion) statement by consciously choosing what we wear!