A new study by Washington University reveals the negative environmental and social consequences of fast fashion. We’ve been asking around children’s clothing companies how important sustainability is to them.

Assistant Professor Christine Ekenga speaks in her study of a massive problem caused by fast fashion. “The ecological and social costs of textile production are widespread. They range from the growth of water-intensive cotton and the release of untreated dyes into local water sources to low wages and poor working conditions”, says the co-author of the study “The global environmental injustice of fast fashion”. Every year, 80 billion new garments are bought worldwide, with devastating consequences for people and nature. As a possible solution, sustainability in the actions of companies and a change in consumer behaviour are recommended. These maxims have applied to the baby online market greenstories since its inception. Denver Mielke, authorised signatory: “Something other than ecological and healthy children’s clothing was basically out of the question for our range. Right from the start we had in mind that the production of children’s clothing had to be free of any disadvantages for people and nature.

Sustainability is important for Greenstories and Tchibo Share

In its online shop, Greenstories offers not only harmless toys but also clothing from selected manufacturers that is free of harmful substances. “It was important for us to set an example with our selection, to actively change something and to create a contact point for sustainable consumption,” Mielke continued. Tchibo’s new line of business caused a sensation. Under Tchibo Share, clothing has been available for hire for over a year now. Sandra Coy, Sustainability & Quality spokeswoman, draws a first conclusion: “We have received very positive customer feedback over the course of the year – so there is great interest in new forms of consumption. A very organically growing customer group has hired over 17,000 garments to date. That meets our expectations.” Coy describes Tchibo Share’s concept as an important “milestone in our commitment to becoming a 100% sustainable company – and at the same time to promoting the principle of closed material cycles”. As the clothing is worn by several children, resources are saved and materials used longer.

Hessnatur uses durable and robust materials

The clothes of hessnatur are known for their longevity. Kristin Heckmann, Head of Corporate Responsibility: “For hessnatur children’s clothing we exclusively use pure natural fibres such as organic cotton, silk and organic virgin wool. These natural fibers offer protection and function to the delicate skin of children. Their ecological processing ensures that they do not irritate the skin, and they are also breathable and temperature-equalizing. Materials such as organic wool fleece are also very easy to care for and robust, so they can even be used by numerous siblings”.

The idea of sustainability runs like a red thread through the company. The production steps and supply chains can be traced on a world map on the homepage. The company is also a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and Ecocert Greenlife. Heckmann: “Our social standards include free choice of work, no discrimination in the workplace, no exploitation through child labour, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, payment of living wages, appropriate working hours, safe and healthy working conditions and a legally binding employment relationship.

 

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Link: A New Study by Washington University Draws Attention to the Consequences of Fast Fashion

Image: hessnatur

//KH