The decision to appoint Kourtney Kardashian came as a surprise to many, given her track record of excessive living. From private jet journeys to breaching her water allotment in a drought, it is safe to say that the celebrity has not found fame from a sustainable way of living. The campaign itself has also fallen under fire, since it features items for as low as £5 and cheap clothes come at a cost (both human and to the environment!)
When speaking about the launch of her collection, Kourtney stated that she was ‘concerned about the impacts of fast fashion on our planet’ and is set to launch a ‘sustainable’ capsule with the brand, which will consist of advice for shoppers on ethical consumerism and a social content series. An ironic move for the now infamous Boohoo who have become known for unethical business practices in recent years.
More broadly, the place of a fast fashion company at Fashion Week must be considered. Should we really be seeing £5 pieces on a catwalk? From New York to mass production, to inevitably ending up in landfill, does not seem like the circle of life that Fashion Week articles are supposed to have.
In contrast to the Kardashian lavish way of living, Chouinard has devoted much of his career, and life, to green causes. While fast fashion brands were offering a 100% off sale on Black Friday last year, Patagonia’s approach has always been a little different. In 2011, the brand ran an ad on Black Friday entitled “Don’t Buy This Jacket” to address the issue of consumerism head on and encourage people to think twice before they buy. In 2016, Patagonia donated 100% of its Black Friday profits to grassroots organisations. Chouniards latest decision to give away the business to a charitable trust and an environmental non-profit organisation is his largest move in demonstrating his seriousness to saving the planet, setting a new example in environmental corporate leadership.
The backlash that both Boohoo and its newly appointed Kardash-ador have received highlight the reputational damage that greenwashing can do. Chouinard has proven that real climate action is expensive and must be more than a marketing ploy.
At Ardea, we recognise the value in Patagonia’s promise and hope that it inspires others in the corporate world to follow suit. There is only one Earth, and we all have a part to play in looking after it. In order to be a responsible corporate citizen, companies must consider the impact they have. If you are interested in learning more about this and how to better mitigate your impacts, then get in touch and we can help!
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