We envision the fashion industry serving as one of the most powerful conduits for social and environmental progress in existence today. We’re still a ways away from realizing this ambitious vision for our industry, but because of you, we made significant strides in 2019 towards this exciting reality. We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge what happened last year in the fashion industry (the good and the bad,) and to celebrate the impact you’ve made possible for us at Nisolo.
"2019 was the year sustainability finally burst into the fashion mainstream." –Whitney Bauck, Senior Sustainability Reporter at Fashionista
More than ever before, the conversation around the social and environmental impact of our clothes and everyday purchases came to the forefront amongst industry leaders, policymakers, NGOs, consumers, and brands of all sizes (including the biggest offenders.) We witnessed a movement of brands committing to become carbon neutral. Several designers publicly recognized their role in reducing environmental waste. Progress was made in developing innovative, eco-friendly materials across numerous kinds of products. Secondhand shopping and recycling options became increasingly prevalent. And consumers began placing more value on shopping sustainably–75% of consumers view sustainability as extremely or very important, and more than a third of consumers report they have already switched from their preferred brand to another because it credibly stands for positive environmental and/or social practices (Source: Global Fashion Agenda, 2019.)
Yet amidst heightened consumer awareness and positive progress, the social and environmental state of the industry remains broken, and we hope to make progress toward our vision even faster in 2020 and beyond.
The day-to-day reality for the vast majority of the people who make our clothes is still bleak. According to Clean Clothes Campaign, 85% of large fast fashion brands surveyed in a 2014 study said that wages should be enough to meet workers’ basic needs. In 2019, however, none of these brands could demonstrate that any workers outside of their corporate headquarter countries were being paid a living wage (Source: Clean Clothes Campaign, 2019.) In many cases, factory workers continue to operate in deadly working conditions, a hard truth to accept that became all too real this past December when 43 workers in Delhi, India were killed in a factory fire.