Let’s admit it.
We have all been caught up in the hype of ZARA, and H&M. Personally, H&M never appealed to me. Their clothing always looked cheap and poor quality.
But ZARA? Yeh, sure. I’ve been totally duped by them several times. Although I have to say that for a while, I’ve also been dissatisfied with their quality and pricing. Not to mention that their clothing sizes seem to be shrinking. I pick up a size ’14’ and it DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A SIZE 14. Don’t even get me started on the kid’s clothing. Girl’s dresses that are supposedly in the 12-18month size range, fit my daughter when she was 6 MONTHS OLD. Not only are they generally small everywhere (like the arms and shoulders), but they are so short that I can’t decide if it is a dress or a top.
Putting aside these issues though, the latest bandwagon that these fashion giants are jumping onto is the “eco-friendly”, “sustainable” and “ethical” clothing “trend”.
ZARA just released their ‘Join Life’ (how sad is that title though? HONESTLY. “JOIN LIFE”?!!Yes, join life by purchasing MORE CLOTHING) campaign and it’s full of beautiful clothing in earthy tones and SO MANY modest options. #creepingmodestfashion
Are the clothes REALLY NICE? Yeh, sure. What also comes to my mind though is, why does this model not have hips? Why do they always have to be SO SKINNY?!
Take a look for yourself…
The collection is ZARA’s first foray into producing a ‘sustainable’ option, much like H&M’s “Conscious” collection. It uses “organic cotton, recycled wool and Tencel” to reduce their “environmental impact”. It claims to be “clothing that respects the environment” by utilising these fabrics, as they use less water to produce and also employ reforestation techniques.
They are also taking it further than just the clothing by creating recycled boxes and providing clothing bins (just like H&M recently did) in their stores for you to dump all your old ZARA clothes that you no longer wear. Add in some green trees in their stores with big windows to allow in natural light, use the #recycle and #joinlife tags and ZARA has officially “gone green”.
Or have they?
The reality is that what huge mega fast fashion chains like ZARA and H&M achieve with their capsule ‘sustainable’ collections is what is called ‘greenwashing’. Greenwashing is when a company, that doesn’t really use sustainable or ethical methods of manufacture market themselves in a way that makes them appear to be more ‘green’. Read more about it here.
And although I want to applaud the move towards making their clothing manufacture more sustainable, I would still not purchase any items from the collection. Cynically, I see this as a major company simply tapping into a market that is growing that they want a piece of, that they want to dominate.
I’m not going to be duped into supporting that.
I’d rather support the companies who started right, and are getting it right, from all angles. They are ethical and eco-friendly, and the quality of their clothing is incredible. Are they pricey? Sure. But the fact that they cost more is a sign that they ARE ethically made. And because of the way they were manufactured, the clothing is of a high quality and therefore bound to become staple pieces that WILL LAST for years.
Here are the companies that are getting it right:
There are many more, if you simply do a google search for ‘ethical clothing’.
What do you think about H&M and ZARA’s greenwashing tactics? Do you shop from them?
All images via Zara.