Let’s be real, one of the most harmful industries in the world is the fashion industry. While consumers have the option of purchasing more sustainable clothing, brands and retailers bear the real responsibility. They should not create pieces that they know aren’t environmentally friendly. When it comes to fashion, sustainability should be an essential part of the design process.
With an overwhelming amount of misleading information making shopping with a conscience a difficulty for many consumers, the new ethical app, Good On You, has made it its mission to reveal the impact that retail brands have on the environment and society while providing transparency to the buyer.
Founded in 2015, Good on You hosts a database of thousands of fashion brands, all assessed against their robust rating system for their impact on people, the planet and animals. The app uses a rating system of ‘Great’, ‘Good’, ‘It’s a Start’, ‘Not Good Enough’ and ‘We Avoid’ to easily show social and environmental impacts. To derive accurate ratings, Good On You sources its information from brands, parent companies, and robust third-party indices such as the Fashion Transparency Index and CDP Climate Change. Together, the platform has collected more than 500 data points per brand across more than 100 key sustainability issues, indicators and standards systems.
The researchers at Good On You have already revealed fashion companies that are demonstrating a phlegmatic response to the climate emergency. For instance, major fashion labels, such as Hollister and Victoria’s Secret, have shown little or no proof of reducing textile waste, hazardous chemicals, or water reduction programmes, according to the platform. These brands, which rank among the world’s biggest fashion retail companies, have the potential to be driving forces for climate change solutions.
Good On You is highlighting not only the weak responses from major fashion firms but also those that are misleading us. Boohoo, one of the world’s largest fast fashion retail brands, debuted its “Sustainable Collection” in 2019, claiming that the materials used were “recycled.” However, after obtaining specific details on Boohoo’s collection, researchers discovered that acrylic, a type of plastic that is infamously hard to recycle, was one of the materials used. Furthermore, many of the pieces in Boohoo’s collection cost between $13 and $14 (about £10), raising the question of how much the garment makers are paid.
Kathy Kearns, Head of Enterprise at Good On You, recently stated:
“The fashion industry urgently needs to make progress to address its impacts on people and the planet. At Good On You, we believe that shoppers have significant power to hold brands accountable, but with pervasive greenwashing, it can be challenging for consumers to see through all the sustainability spin.”
Now you know where to go to boost your eco-friendly fashion credentials.