Lightbox Loves: 12 Year Countdown

We are reminded every day that we live in a time of political and economic uncertainty, so much so that some of us might have just become immune to it, ready to brew a cuppa and wait for it all to blow over. Another worrying headline has recently been added to this negative atmosphere: we’ve got as little as 12 years to limit our negative impact on the planet[1], or else!

As we wait for our government to take the lead in the fight against climate change and pass new laws on single-use plastic, recycling, green energy and everything in between, 15-year-old Swedish eco-warriors[2] are showing the world how change doesn’t always happen from the top down. Greta Thurnberg is the 15-year-old climate activist who skipped school and camped outside the Swedish Parliament demanding action against climate change. She also took part in the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland, alongside climate advocate David Attenborough.

One of the major contributors to climate change has been the fast-fashion industry, with Brits throwing away tons of clothes each year[3], sometimes after only wearing them once or twice. According to EcoWatch[4], the clothing industry is the second dirtiest industry in the world, next to Big Oil, making it a great contributor to our damaging carbon footprint.

Good news comes from the Waste & Resources Action Programme though, which has launched a Sustainable Clothing Action Plan[5], which has already helped reduce the carbon footprint per tonne of garments by 11.9%. 11 retailers have already signed up to this plan, including H&M. With more brands soon to follow it looks like sustainable fashion is becoming more and more… fashionable.

It hasn’t come as so much a surprise then that online retailer ASOS has had the worst ‘November in living history”[6], seeing its shares plunge and underwhelming growth, despite unprecedented discounts. As brilliantly put in our previous Lightbox Loves article, big brands need Pathos to keep their customer loyalty.

Moreover, studies have shown that “93% of the millennial generation want to buy from companies that have purpose, sustainability and environmental stewardship built into their ethos”[7]. This number may seem a little high for a generation famous for living their life on Instagram where they can’t be seen wearing the same thing twice, but reality trumps the occasional vanity photoshoot. The climate change threat is real and, unlike previous generations, millennials have knowledge at the touch of their fingertips 24/7, being able to fact check everything they hear, see or read in seconds.

Studies have shown that almost half of Brits don’t remember what they got last year as a Christmas gift[8]. The pressure to buy expensive gifts and the last-minute rush, results in piles and piles of unwanted gifts every year. What better time to start thinking about the impact your fashion habits have on the world around us!