The problem of fast fashion is a prominent one in our cultural consciousness. In the news, on the radio, and in our social feeds; our exposure to alarming statistics cultivates an awareness of this social and ecological problem, but very little is done to inform the average person as to possible solutions. Our intent is to help you see first hand how Bank & Vogue and our sister company Beyond Retro are demonstrating, through action, a path consumers and businesses can take to solving our planet’s fashion crisis.
The Blame Game Gets Us Nowhere
America’s Environmental Protection Agency claims that the average American contributes 70 lbs of clothing to landfill every year. In terms of the production of worldwide pollution, fast fashion is the worlds #2 contributor. Our demand for new clothing has gotten out of control, some sources claiming that we purchase (and in turn, dispose of) 400% more clothing than we did 20 years ago.
Statistics like these are outrageous, so feeling outrage in response to them is not without justification. This is a global problem that serves to impact the lives of everyone on planet Earth, so feeling that massive action ought to be taken to rectify it is entirely reasonable.
Consumers point their finger at retailers, believing that as extreme contributors to the problem, they ought to take action in equivalent proportions to help achieve sustainable practices. Conversely, retailers point their fingers right back, claiming that there is nothing sustainable about the bankruptcy that would result from driving away customers with the higher prices associated with such sustainability.
At the core of Bank & Vogue and Beyond Retro is the belief that ‘massive action’ is no-ones responsibility because it is in no-one‘s power to fix the issue alone. Fixing this problem will only result from the co-operation and co-ordination of businesses on both sides, as well as the associated means for someone to show them the way!
Finding The Path Starts By Making One
For businesses and consumers, all this change takes is cultivating a public awareness of sustainable alternatives to the traditional ways we make, buy, and sell clothing.
When it comes to the clothes we make and sell as businesses Bank & Vogue exists to demonstrate to retailers that sustainability and profitability, when managed properly, go hand-in-hand.
Working with businesses worldwide, Bank and Vogue provides logistical services and solutions to clothing retailers that are built around the idea of minimizing the environmental impact of clothing, and maximizing the sustainability and profit of retail businesses. For an in-depth understanding of Bank & Vogue’s business, feel free to explore our previous articles or information pages.
On the consumer-side of the solution to the problem of fast fashion is our our sister-company, Beyond Retro. A fashion label committed to demonstrating, through the art of fashion, that a sustainable global relationship with clothing is within the grasp of consumers as well as businesses.
Beyond Retro is a fashion retailer borne out of the same mind, values, and beliefs that parented Bank & Vogue. Committed to demonstrating the value of recycled clothing; Beyond Retro has established itself as a major name in fashion culture. Standing toe-to-toe with the biggest names in fashion, Beyond Retro’s presence and success on runways throughout Europe serves to challenge the industry and culture of fashion into a new way of thinking about the value and life of clothing.
How Beyond Retro Works
Beyond Retro fashion experts start by sifting through large quantities of secondhand clothing, keeping an eye out for ‘diamonds in the rough’, or more specifically, any items with incredible fashion potential. These items are then collected, and sent to a team of artisans and tailors. A cut here and a hem there, clothes from fashion seasons long-past are reinvigorated to reflect today’s modern styles. With items then being sent to various brick-and-mortar stores throughout Europe as well as the online store at beyondretro.com, the success of Beyond Retro loudly trumpets to the world the value of recycled clothing, but also the viability of a sustainability-first fashion industry mindset.
Of all the secondhand clothing Beyond Retro receives, only a fraction of a percent actually makes it to store shelves. In keeping with our commitment to demonstrating the path to curbing clothing waste worldwide, we’ve also found a way to take care of the remaining majority.
Beyond Retro LABEL
Though an item might be unfit for immediate resale, the textile it is comprised of most certainly is not. Considerable time, energy, and money goes into processing the earth’s resources into textile, value that dismissed when clothing is thrown away. By deconstructing every item that isn’t selected for store shelves into their constituent materials, and re-constructing these materials into new clothing, Beyond Retro demonstrates to businesses worldwide that there is a way to capture that value.
Every item bought from Beyond Retro is made entirely from recycled materials, but we use far more than just the textiles. Our commitment to recycling is absolute; we even make practical use of pocket change that is discovered, stamping pennies with our logo, and placing them on our items alongside the nickels and dimes we recycle for decorative bling! Our facility in India employs a full-time team of designers and artisans, working near the world’s largest volume of used clothing in order to minimize our carbon footprint, reduce waste, and provide purposeful employment to those that work with us.
Beyond Retro and Beyond Retro LABEL is all about protecting the earth and increasing value to humanity. We show through our actions when producing clothing, and our customers show through theirs when buying it, that recycled clothing and textiles have tremendous value to businesses and consumers alike. Our approach to business demonstrates that there is an alternative to the ‘take, make, dispose’ status-quo that has defined our culture’s unsustainable relationship with our clothing.
Consumers And Businesses Coming Together
Bank & Vogue and Beyond Retro demonstrate every day that the interests of business, people, and the earth can co-exist in harmony. With the right ideas, an innovative attitude, and a special eye for value, legitimate solutions can be developed to help solve today’s social economic challenges. With the assumption of a more sustainable mindset, we will free ourselves from a lot of today’s tensions, both privately and culturally, ensuring we are always acting in an environmentally responsible manner.