Category Archives: sustainability

Nest Fosters Upcycling in Artisan and Fashion Production

While the industry pivots toward sustainability, innovative solutions beyond upcycled designs are emerging to combat its environmental impacts. In addition to supporting upcycling collaborations, Nest is launching a more scalable solution with Queen of Raw, a digital platform for buying and selling deadstock fabric. In response to the vast amounts of excess fabric reported to be sitting in warehouses around the world (worth more than $120 billion USD), the founders launched an online marketplace where brands can offload these materials and anyone from makers to small brands can purchase them at a reduced price. The intent is to prevent these textiles from being burned, buried, shredded or otherwise destroyed by enabling them to be upcycled into other products.

A Hotline Garment Workers Can Call When They Face Harassment on the Job

In an industry that has long been largely allowed to police itself, these hotlines are part of a greater movement toward accountability for brands and factories. But even their supporters are quick to point out that they are not a cure-all. Many of the conditions that make gender-based violence hard to stamp out in the world at large — like stigma and victim-blaming — exist in factories too. And in an industry beholden to the frenzied pace and dizzyingly low prices of fast fashion, working conditions remain difficult to regulate.

Fast fashion: European Union reveals fast fashion crackdown

For every person in the EU, textile consumption requires nine cubic metres of water, 400 square metres of land, 391kg of raw materials, and causes a carbon footprint of about 270kg.

In the UK, politicians have called on the government to change the law to require fashion retailers to comply with environmental standards.

The government rejected most of the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendations in 2019, including making clothes producers pay for better clothing collection and recycling, but has made textile waste a priority.

A robust and standardized framework for reuse measurement is needed. Here’s why

Only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, with an effective recycling rate of approximately 2% globally. Reusable packaging, designed to be used several times, is necessary to reduce total virgin material consumption, emissions and waste generation by keeping resources in circulation.

Measurement and reporting is a significant barrier to scaling reuse models of consumption. There are currently no standardized and tested metrics to track progress on reuse, which is critical for companies to fully understand the economic, consumer and environmental benefits of reusable business models. Organizations still tend to operate in siloes, using different reuse metrics and calculation methodologies. Standardization of reuse metrics across industry, government and standard-setting institutions will accelerate the systemic shift toward reuse models.

How fast fashion can cut its staggering environmental impact

‘Fast fashion’ is so called partly because the fashion industry now releases new lines every week, when historically this happened four times a year. Today, fashion brands produce almost twice the amount of clothing that they did in 2000, most of it made in China and other middle-income countries such as Turkey, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Worldwide, 300 million people are employed by the industry.

But incredibly, more than 50 billion garments are discarded within a year of being made, according to a report from an expert workshop convened by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), published in May.

Circular value chains in fashion: Strengthening trust in second hand markets

The World Economic Forum, Ralph Lauren, Bain & Company, Vestiaire Collective and EVRYTHNG have launched a global alliance of manufacturers, suppliers, consumers and regulators that leverages digital traceability to drive circularity and sustainability.


Depop has released a sustainability plan for 2021-2022, in which the company sets out its aims to be ‘kinder to people and kinder to the planet’. What struck me as odd was its environmental aim to ‘thrive to reduce environmental impact and do no harm’. As a company which relies on the transport of goods across the UK and beyond, is it conceivable that they can aim to ‘do no harm’ and have no adverse effects on the environment at all?

How long should our clothes last?

For years, the benchmark has been 30 wears. This spawned from the 30 Wears Challenge, first conceived by Eco Age co-founder Livia Firth and journalist Lucy Seigle in 2015. “It was a very different fashion landscape as there was much less awareness and fewer brands doing sustainable work as well,” explains Firth. “So many people were coming up to me and asking me, ‘Where do I shop? What do I buy?’” Ever since, slow-fashion campaigners have used this number as a minimum standard for buying new clothing.

“At the time it was coined, it was definitely a helpful phrase because it was pushing people to think differently about how they were consuming,” explains Emma Slade Edmonson, sustainability consultant, writer and host of the Mixed Up podcast. In the last seven years, sustainability has become much more of a hot topic. These days, Edmondson says that “conversations have definitely become more intelligent, thoughtful, and layered,” when it comes to fashion. “People are beginning to think in terms of intersectional sustainability and values when it comes to making purchasing decisions and where their old clothes are going,” she says.