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Future Of Our Planet

What does Kourtney Kardashian’s collaboration with Boohoo say about the future of our planet?

future of our planet

The fashion industry and the future of our planet

Last week, Kourtney Kardashian Barker was named the new sustainability ambassador for online fast fashion retailer, Boohoo. The announcement bought huge uproar across social media, not only because Boohoo are one of the worst companies for sustainability across the UK, but also that Kourtney is a shocking choice for someone to represent on sustainability.

In 2019, Boohoo was named one of the least sustainable fashion brands in the UK by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) for promoting over-consumption and making no effort to reduce their carbon footprint. It also reported that workers in a UK factory that had handled Boohoo garments were being paid as little as £3.50 per hour. What’s more is that the announcement of Kourtney’s new ‘capsule collection’ came weeks after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that Boohoo, along with ASOS and Asda, was under investigation over greenwashing and whether their previous sustainable fashion claims are misleading. It’s quite common now to see retailers market some products as ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘sustainably made’, making broad claims about the use of recycled materials but with little or no information into their processes. Kourtney admitted her own concerns surrounding her contract with Boohoo saying “When Boohoo first approached me with this idea that was all about sustainability and style, I was concerned about the effects of the fast fashion industry on our planet. It’s been an enlightening experience speaking directly with industry experts”.

Celebrity and private jets

For some, this isn’t enough to convince them, particularly as Kardashian was exposed for reportedly going 101,000 gallons over the mark within her 2-acre Calabasas home this summer. And as well as her excessive water usage, Kourtney and her sisters often tend to fly around the world via private jet, usually flaunting their luxury travels on Instagram. Back in February, the reality star reposted a CO2 tracker to her Instagram story that displayed the words: “Time to get our shit together.” Ironically, several months later, two of her sisters ended up being listed among the top 10 celebrities with the worst carbon dioxide emissions via their private jets. With a hefty 195 million followers on Instagram, this mixed messaging is setting a bad and confusing example to the eyewatering amount of people who follow and idealise her. Those who don’t idealise her have taken to social media to call the family our for being ‘the biggest hypocrites on the planet’.

Who cares?

It’s not to say that online abuse is the way to respond to this recent announcement, however it’s upsetting that someone with such a huge influence, couldn’t have partnered with a slow / second hand fashion brand, to promote real sustainably and pave the way for a better future within the fashion industry and our planet. Céline Semaan, founder of Slow Factory Foundation, tweeted her disapproval as well, writing, “This is insulting to an entire community working tirelessly to educate / change / provide alternative solutions / invest in climate positive solutions — to hire someone promoting over consumption and capitalism is beyond absurd! Not that Boohoo cares. They don’t deserve our work.”

Whether Boohoo begin to change the way their current ultra-fast fashion processes operate, or this is just another greenwashing tactic is unknown. However, using an over consuming celebrity influence as a selling technique, will ever be an adequate answer to a more sustainable fashion industry, no matter how much recycled material is used.

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