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Shopping for Vengeance x Sustainability

With the introduction of vaccines into our lives, we can follow the signals that the fashion industry has started to recover, with profit and growth statements.

The following data, given on the BOF site on May 7, 2021, reveal how fast the recovery has been in the post-pandemic process.

Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman reported a 19% increase in the first quarter. German e-commerce site Zalando's first-quarter sales reported a 47% increase, while British rival Asos posted a 25% increase. As sports events return to our lives, Adidas and Under Armor have raised their annual revenue forecasts and even underlined that Adidas expects a 50% jump in the 2nd quarter.

In addition to e-commerce, a big move in terms of retail came from streetwear giant Supreme and opened its 13th store in Milan on May 6th.

For luxury brands, the situation is almost the same, with LVMH seeing a 37% increase in sales of its fashion division in the first quarter from pre-pandemic levels. Compared to the pre-pandemic period!!!

Hermes followed with 33%. While retailers in the US have been bold about hiring with the expectation of a big turnaround, it is unclear whether demand will remain this high. All this news is very pleasing at the first stage, it seems that the long-spoken shopping for vengeance has begun to take place. But at this point, won't the sustainability trend, which has become even more inflamed especially during the pandemic period, contradict with the shopping for vengeance? These growth targets collide with the sustainability promises of fashion. Considering that approximately 70 million tons of goods were burned, destroyed or waited as waste every year before the pandemic, and that only 60% of the clothes that could be sold were sold at full price, it is a question mark how this excessive consumption habit will take shape after the pandemic.

Sustainability also seems to feed this problem by staying within the marketing strategies as a trend. Because this time, brands put an environmentally friendly packaging to sell more products. Thus, people not only feel good while shopping, but also continue to consume, thinking that they are doing less harm. In an April report, Farfetch said the rate of looking at promotions of sustainable items on its website has quadrupled.

Overconsumption seems to continue through sustainable goods.

As a result, sustainability has not gone beyond a concept that has not been fully filled yet. In order for it to pass, it must be legalized and supported by laws and inspections. It is compulsory that what is good for the world, not for the company's shareholders, is protected and respected.

Just because the brand claims it is and has appropriate labels and packaging doesn't mean it's sustainable. We can talk about progress only when all manufacturers and consumers take this as a priority, when all these declarations are followed up and audited.

As producers and consumers who live in this world and are responsible to future generations, we must make the universal contribution and meaning real and adopt into our lives. As the Z generation activists, who got angry with us on television, said: “Maybe you won't be able to see the damage you have done in 30-40 years, but we will have to live in a summer that is 10 degrees hotter than you in 50 years.” You have no right to this.


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