Original images courtesy of (L-R): Richard Malone, Patou, Collina Strada and Kenneth Ize. Collage by Douglas Greenwood
Though they should be top of our agenda all year round, Earth Day is a natural focus for conversations around sustainability in fashion. Those conversations, naturally, raise a number of important questions, but the one that leaves us scratching our heads is: what does sustainability in fashion actually mean?
When you dwell on the term, ‘sustainable fashion’ reveals itself as an oxymoron: how can an industry whose survival has long relied on the exploitation of natural resources to produce huge amounts of new goods ever truly be sustainable? Indeed, the inherent vagueness of the term — compounded by the lack of any clear guidelines regarding what can and can’t be called ‘sustainable’ — has left it open to exploitation. Greenwashing has become a ubiquitous marketing tactic; brands proudly tout clothes produced