The companies who are making our favourite fashion and gadgets have failed to deal with their growing impact on the planet, relying on a resource intensive, exploitative and unfair business model. From workers using hazardous chemicals to factories fueled by dirty energy, from products designed not to last to millions or gadgets and clothes just thrown away each year, the model is in serious need of an upgrade.
Every week we are confronted with a new trend, another “latest, greatest product”. Brands sell us the myth that we are defined by what we shop, reducing us to being consumers instead of humans.
We love fashion and we love our technology, but it is time to change our relationship with “New” and the products we own.
How? We want to inspire change in how we, as people, appreciate the wealth of awesome products that are already in the world. Instead of carelessly consuming and disposing, we want to challenge you to be an active, empowered member of our global community sharing knowledge and goods in a smarter way. Let’s support each other and build the world t we deserve to live in!
Since 2011, Greenpeace has been pressuring the textile industry to stop using hazardous chemicals. We have secured global Detox commitments from 79 international brands (link to Catwalk), retailers and suppliers and triggered policy changes in the Europe and Asia. We couldn’t have done this without pressure from people around the world.
At the same time, Greenpeace has been demanding big IT companies to phase out toxic chemicals from our electronic gadgets, use renewable energy to produce them and design them to be easily repaired and recycled. Following our demands, companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook have already made steps in the right direction.
While phasing out hazardous chemicals from the products we buy and powering their manufacturing with renewable energy is a big step, consumption around the world is skyrocketing. Each year over 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide – and many of these clothes are only worn a few times before being thrown away. Meanwhile, can you believe that 7.1 billion smartphones have been produced in just about 10 years, and the average use time is only 2 years? Pushed by brands to always buy the latest, tiny upgrade or variation, our rate of consumption gets faster and faster. This uses up way too many precious resources of our shared planet.
We can break this chain with the everyday choices we make. Every time we make an effort to give a longer life to the clothes and gadgets we have bought into this world instead of dumping and rebuying, it saves precious natural resources. If we share by buying second hand, reuse and repair our clothes and devices, we can not only save money, but take a small step towards saving our planet. Exercise your people power, populate and use this map!