The Fashion Law
“Most of our clothing is made from polyester [not forest fibers], produced in places far from where it is consumed, and produced in countries with the dirtiest energy grids,” sustainability policy expert Kristen Fanarakis says. As a result, commitments to “reducing the amount of polyester used, shortening the supply chains, or shifting production away from existing centers” would be a “more meaningful” approach. (Fanarakis notes that polyester is the most commonly used textile for apparel, making up at least 52 percent of all fiber production, according to Common Objective, and a particularly problematic one, “given how it is produced (using oil), what happens when we use it (micro-plastics shedding), and where it ends up (living in a landfill forever).”
The Fashion Law
"it could “put a damper on [H&M’s marketing of] ‘conscious’ collections,” but the wording of the CMA’s release “suggests that H&M could simply use recycled or organic fabrics” in these collections in order to substantiate its existing “conscious” claims and without altering its offerings or the practices that go into manufacturing and/or distributing them."
“You can push product back and move other things up to respond to what’s happening in the market a lot easier when it’s right here.”
"Fanarakis is skeptical of marketing efforts to sanction conscious consumption (if there is such a thing) and bypass major issues like overproduction or garment utility. She urged brand leaders to lean more into social data (like a living wage) and follow advocacy efforts to put a price on carbon.
Her lingering question was, “Are you doing sustainability for marketing or are you doing sustainability for actual change?”
"Fanarakis also said that certifications will continue to play a role in the sustainability movement, but we need to have more transparency in certification if it’s going to play role in the sustainability movement. The government needs to have standards in place for sustainability practices, and eventually we can get to a point where there’s a global harmonization among the supply chain once enough power players are involved."
“This legislation has the potential to finally address the roots of fashion’s environmental offenses: declining quality and overproduction,” she said. “No one is paying for the externalities of the fast-fashion business model or the high volume, high use of fossil fuel-based fashion. The potential for extended producer responsibility requirements would increase prices, making companies liable for their cheap clothing in the manner that a toxic plant is responsible for the waste or pollution they emit.”
"Just because you preorder thousands of cheaply made goods that will be worn a few times then discarded, doesn’t make that strategy any less wasteful."
"Kristen Fanarakis called the bill’s passage in the Assembly a “step in the right direction toward correcting the externalities that fashion imposes on society.”
"A vocal supporter of the bill, founder and creative director of Senza Tempo Fashion Kristen Fanarakis said it “must pass” for the “state to truly be the progressive leader it claims to be on sustainability.”
You can hear Kristen's full testimony here:
Testimony to California State Senate in support of the Garment Worker Bill, SB62 by founder Kristen Fanarakis
Women’s Workwear a Woman Would Actually Want to Wear
Amortize Your Dress