The fast fashion industry is worth around £1.2 trillion per year. Low prices, fast turnover of stock and poorly paid garment workers have been the key to the industry’s success. Profit over people; that might as well be the fast fashion industry’s motto. That has never been more evident than right now, when companies are refusing to pay for clothes that were manufactured before coronavirus hit.
I don’t know about you but that makes me incredibly angry. Companies such as Phillip Green’s Arcadia Group and Primark flat out refused to pay for items they’d ordered and had manufactured. Primark have since partially backtracked due to bad publicity. They care more about their image than actually doing the right thing.
Arcadia Group went one better; they’ll pay for items already shipped but they’ve decided they’re not worth full price anymore. They’ve given themselves 30% off. Even Asda (aka Walmart) are at it; they’ve had record sales recently but think it’s okay to not pay full price for garments that are already finished.
So countries like Bangladesh currently have factories full of unwanted and unpaid garments, as well as workers who can’t be paid and have no other source of income. These people haven’t been furloughed, they haven’t been offered government loans. They have nothing and it’s not right.
Thankfully, there is something positive you can do that will actually make a difference. Meet Lost Stock.
What Is Lost Stock?
Lost Stock is a brilliant idea. The aim is to be able to support Bangladesh’s garment workers and their families by selling the stock that high street chains are refusing to pay for. It will also stop clothes potentially ending up in landfill too.
For £35, you can buy a box of clothes from Lost Stock to support a garment worker. Tell Lost Stock your size, gender, preferences and then, in 6 to 8 weeks, you’ll receive at least three items of clothing. You won’t know what you’re getting until it arrives, which makes it a nice surprise! (You will be getting tops of some kind though because they’re easier to fit.) Everything you receive will be at least 50% of the RRP too.
I think this is such a wonderful and simple idea. If you’re missing shopping, or need a few new things, you’re getting an injection of something new in your wardrobe. You’re also getting a warm fuzzy feeling for doing something nice for another human being. Win, win.
Ok, so you might get something you don’t like. Give it to a friend, swap it, refashion it. Just please don’t send it to your local charity shop if you don’t have to…
What Else Can I Do?
Please learn more about the fast fashion industry and don’t forget how these companies have acted in a a time of crisis. So many consumers are unaware of the conditions that their clothes are made in, and how people in countries such as Bangladesh are treated.
Join In: Fashion Revolution and ask “Who Made My Clothes”