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  • Justin Wright

“I feel the need, the need for speed”

Who can forget the immortal line by Tom Cruise’s character Maverick in unquestionably the best movie ever made – Top Gun? In this instance, he was referring to a desire to fly his fast jet in a semi-reckless way, but it’s nice to think he might have been referring to the urgency needed to progress the sustainability agenda in the fashion industry. Given it was 1986 and Tom had other things on his mind, this is unlikely.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Fashion Revolution - the campaign for better transparency and accountability in the fashion industry. A great cause addressing genuine issues in an industry with plenty of scope for improvement. However, after 10 years of fighting for greater transparency, barely half of the 250 largest fashion brands and retailers disclose their primary suppliers. The same lack of urgency applies to living wages – 99% of the brands reviewed by Fashion Revolution still do not disclose what percentage of workers in their supply chain earn a living wage, and only 2% have a time-bound, measurable target to address the issue.

Frankly, this isn’t good enough and progress is not happening fast enough. In no way is this the fault of the good folks at Fashion Revolution who have pushed successful campaigns like #WhoMadeMyClothes and the Fashion Transparency Index. Industry change only happens when brands and businesses collaborate with an intent to make positive change.  In an ideal world, the work of Fashion Revolution should already be done but it seems the fashion industry cannot be trusted to get their own house in order. This lack of urgency cannot continue for another 10 years because the clock is ticking and consumers are watching. The risk of inaction far outweighs the risk of taking authentic, impact-focused actions – either unilaterally or collectively. Already we see France pressing ahead with a bill that would impose a ‘sin tax’-style penalty on fast-fashion products as high as €10 per item by 2030.


As Kenny Loggins might say, it feels like many fashion brands are on a ‘highway to the Danger Zone’.


Check out the great work of Fashion Revolution...


More on France’s push to tax fast fashion...

In this weeks news...


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