Several environmentally friendly clothing brands have caught our eye as we celebrate Earth Day today. To honour it, Backstage Tales analyse and reflect on some of the best sustainability campaigns of all time.
“Don’t Buy This Jacket” by Patagonia
Back in 2011, Patagonia decided to address the issue of consumerism in a Black Friday Edition of The New York Times. The company admits that each item of clothing, whether or not it’s organic or uses recycled materials, emits several times its weight in greenhouse gases and draws down copious amounts of freshwater. It would have been hypocritical for Patagonia to work for environmental change without encouraging customers to think before they buy. The company states: ‘to reduce environmental damage, we all have to reduce consumption’. This powerful statement made it one of the best and most successful sustainability campaigns of all time.
“The depth and breadth of technological innovation of the past few decades shows that we have not lost our most useful gifts; humans are ingenious, adaptive, clever. We also have moral capacity, compassion for life, and an appetite for justice. We now need to more fully engage these gifts to make economic life more socially just and environmentally responsible, and less destructive to nature and the commons that sustain us,” – Patagonia.
“I made your clothes” by Fashion Revolution
On the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse last year, Fashion Revolution encouraged millions of people to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Done via social media outreach, investigative research, innovative events and inspiring, informative content, Fashion Revolution managed to reach consumers and brands all around the world.
You can still donate to the campaign today, or join the movement for the Fashion Revolution week which will run from today until the 28th of April.
“Long live fashion” by H&M
In 2014 Swedish retailer H&M launched one of their first sustainability campaigns to promote its clothes recycling scheme. The brand is set to raise awareness of sustainability efforts and encourage more shoppers to donate unwanted items of clothing.
Ever since then H&M has been promoting its “Conscious” range of sustainable clothes, as well as highlighting the collection service which offers customers a £5 discount voucher for every bag of clothes they take into stores.
“We want to inspire people to make a difference and engage with our customers to do things that are more sustainable. We are seeing increasing interest from customers in finding out what they can do to be more sustainable and help us achieve our goal of making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable,” – Laura Maggs, H&M’s sustainability manager.
Which one of these sustainability campaigns resonates with you the most?
Text: Irina Gorskaia
Images: Patagonia/New York Times, Fashion Revolution, H&M