As a sustainable fashion blogger I’m always looking for the latest and greatest eco effort from high street brands. After all, mainstream brands like H&M, Topshop and Asos can make such a big difference. So seeing the updated ‘Made In Kenya’ page on Asos’ ‘Eco Edit‘ section got me really excited. Artisan ideas, training and skills rolled out into a mainstream, accessible product? I’m all for it, but the more I looked into the product and it’s fabric breakdown I was downhearted to discover that there’s nothing ‘Eco’ at all about Asos X Kenya’s fabric choice what so ever. It’s all got polyester in it.
Polyester is not an ‘Eco’ fabric in any way shape or form. They should take their ‘Cos caring for the planet is cool’ slogan off asap.
The Asos x Made In Kenya project is a great project, but it is not an eco one. There’s nothing eco about polyester and I think it’s really misleading to label it so. Not everyone knows the ins-and-outs of polyester and the petro chemicals that go into it’s making, not to mention the fact that it will never ever go away. Whilst polyester can be recycled (Into recycled polyester) It will never be fully recyclable and once made will never go away. Asos are also selling it in a blended form, making it even more difficult to recycle.
It’s interesting that Asos have chosen to produce what is in effect a plain white t-shirt in a combination fabric, when It’s pretty common industry wide to produce a plain white tee in a simple, no fuss cotton or organic cotton (Say yes to organic cotton!) especially when there is one 100% cotton bag available from the collection that rejoice, does not look like a go green sack bag.
So – if the fabric isn’t eco, what is?
The only thing I can think of is that they’re paying a fair wage and helping women gain skills through their collaboration project? But when I’ve given that some reflection – shouldn’t that be a given in 2018? If they’re highlighting that they’re paying a fair wage, collaborating and empowering women in Kenya it begs the question, are they not doing that with the other people in their supply chain?
Whilst I appreciate the sentiment, Asos have only managed to highlight their attempt at green washing. Such a shame when a brand with such power has the voice and financial backing to create real social and supply chain change.
I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on this, I’d also love to chat to Asos about their perspective. It takes a lot to greenwash so boldly in a society campaigning for change and as someone who works in the fashion industry I know how much time, effort, planning and dollars go into each product that is never a one person decision.
Very interesting stuff.