Fashion companies should have to be upfront about their sustainability, at point of sale

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Second only to oil, the fashion and textile industries are the greatest source of pollution in the world! The amount of water commonly used to make one pair of jeans uses as much water as one person drinks in seven years

Hi, my name is Telaan Dias and as part of a school project I have conducted research into the fashion industry and its dirty secrets. From the high end conglomerates to the fast-fashion bargains in most closets few of these brands are doing their part to help slow the #climateemergency gripping our planet. When I approached companies such as Calvin Klein, LVMH, Kering, Prada, H&M and Zara they were unable to explain to me what they were doing to make their whole product lineup sustainable. Furthermore, the lack of transparency in this area has caused companies to lie about their sustainability record in order to boost sales and inflate their share price. This has been actively promoted by Barrons to cause an increase in numerous fashion companies stock price.

Consumers are rightly concerned about where their clothes come from and what choices they can make to slow environmental destruction. This is why, in the interests of the whole global community we need serious regulation to be imposed on fashion companies. Consumers have various concerns such as price, local production and quality but environmental footprint is an ever increasing issue for the global consumer.

I propose to the institutions above that all fashion retailers be required, either on packaging or (in the case of online) at the point of sale to disclose what percentage of the product was made from recycled materials in contrast to the percentage made from virgin materials. This is crucial to ensuring that companies do not get a free ride to falsely claiming that they are sustainably producing clothing when this is not the case (known as greenwashing), an example is H&M's campaign in 2019 called the 'conscious' collection.

This proposal would ensure that consumers are able to compare products in store and online to make an informed choice. The proposal is similar to that of the 'Health Star Rating' System and the "Australian Made Bar Chart" on food packaging in stores. Like has happened in the food industry the initiative would enable consumers to make sustainable choices, however, for those who are financially unstable these persons would still be able to access clothing. 

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