TOPSHOP and Reclaim to Wear

Topshop, one of the big names responsible for launching the fashion world into a seasonless cycle of weekly new releases launched it’s very own capsule collection of Sustainable Fashion. While it is great news for the world of fashion when one of it’s fast fashion leaders decide to go (a little) green, one has to wonder if this little flash of Eco thinking might just be a quick fix way to satisfy the consumers who have been asking tough questions about their manufacturing processes. The Topshop collection is made in conjunction with Reclaim to Wear and is made from discarded materials. These materials are said to be sourced from surplus stock and production off cuts. The brands managing director has stated that this is the ‘ first step towards the creation of zero waste collections’.

My two (eco) cents

Kudos to Topshop for having the balls to try something a little different but one has to wonder how sustainable a garment that is made from ‘production offcuts and discarded material’ really is? Truthfully the whole exercise seems to be a bit of a green wash marketing ploy. If you think about it, there is obviously something very wrong with the way that Topshop manufacture if they have enough offcuts and discarded fabric to make entire lines out of them. More than anything, using all of their textiles is a really good way to make money and the way it should be done in the first place. The only benefits from this ‘sustainable’ line is that scraps of fabric are being diverted from landfill that should of been garments in the first place. It’s a great way for Topshop to market what is essentially their regular clothing line in a more ‘green’ way because they worked out a way to use their lazily wasteful offcuts to make more money. The fact that they are aiming to have more zero waste collections in the futures implies that in the mean time it’s business as usual, manufacturing in a way that wastes perfectly good material because production moves to fast to work out waste free ways of pattern making.

The collection was launched earlier this month, which you can check out here, and truthfully it is a beauty! The team have mentioned that the collection was designed with ‘a New York style, clean aesthetic in mind” and that they took inspiration from the fact they were working with a jersey factory on the collection and the laces and meshes they ‘found in the basement’. An aesthetically good outcome was to be expected as having an eye for design is what Topshop does best and the reason why it is worn by fashionista worldwide. They have also included some cute and clever DIY’s on this blog post that are worth a look.

While it is good that big labels like Topshop and H&M are starting to focus on the social and environmental issues that are surrounding the fast fashion industry you have to wonder if stints like this are small steps in the right direction or a really good way for them to openly admit they are being wasteful and make green marketing campaigns around it?

Am I being too cynical? Perhaps my cynicism comes from this clip below of Livia Firth trying to get a straight answer out of the Nadia from H&M as to how much they are planning in dollars to give Bangladeshi employees regarding a company commitment to providing a ‘basic living wage’ (see from around 23:00 onwards if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing)



What are your thoughts on this ‘Sustainable’ line of clothing? Perhaps you own a piece from the collection? Would love to hear about your experiences with it.

Voice your opinion below!


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