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The race is on to make fast fashion become sustainable

14 April 2019 9:39 AM

Founder of sustainable living platform Twyg, Jackie May reports back after attending the Global Change Awards in Stockholm.

It's a pressing question - can initiatives to make fast fashion sustainable, become successful fast enough?

Jacke May, founder of sustainable living platform Twyg, has just returned from Stockholm where she attended the Global Change Awards, created by the Foundation set up by clothing retail giant H & M.

On Weekend Breakfast, Phemelo Motene asks her about the aims of the awards.

Every year they identify five innovations in the fashion industry that will look at changing the industry, to make it more circular and to make it more sustainable.

Jackie May, Founder - Twyg

May traces the history of the clothing giant, which started out with the premise of democratising fashion to provide more affordable clothing.

But what it's become - it's a monstrous organisation - it's got 23 stores in South Africa and they're constantly expanding.

Jackie May, Founder - Twyg

H & M has committed itself to manufacturing its clothing entirely from sustainable materials by the year 2030. But is this a realistic target?

And will they take back the product produced before then, to recycle it?

They've introduced that into their stores already. The numbers have been on the increase, but obviously not nearly as many as they are producing currently.

Jackie May, Founder - Twyg

The 2030 target is to have most of their fabrics made of recyclable material or recycled (material). They're not necessarily taking responsibility to recycle those things themselves. That would really be closing the loop.

Jackie May, Founder - Twyg

Phemelo asks whether it is possible to bring together fast fashion with a quick turnaround and at the same time deliver something sustainable.

2030 is 11 years away - it's a a very ambitious target that they've set themselves and we can only wait and see

Jackie May, Founder - Twyg

May also talks about other initiatives that slot in with the H & M objective.

One example is the Ethical Fashion Initiative based in Africa, connecting artisans with luxury brands.

Its founder believes what H & M is doing to make itself more sustainable could possibly have a far-reaching effect on the fashion industry as a whole.

If you think about how many people are employed by H & M and how many people they employ indirectly through their supply chain - if they can turn that around even by the little things they're achieving now it can have a huge impact on the sustainability of the fashion industry.

Jackie May, Founder - Twyg

To hear more about the future of the fashion industry, listen to the full discussion:

This article first appeared on 702 : The race is on to make fast fashion become sustainable

14 April 2019 9:39 AM