‘Sustainability’, one of the biggest buzzwords in the global fashion industry is, quite frankly, BS. Here’s why we won’t be using the word ‘sustainable’ from now on…
As people become more aware and passionate about the climate crisis and the current state our planet is in, it is pretty much impossible to ignore the overwhelming impact of the fashion industry.
With businesses from all across the fashion industry spectrum releasing their ‘sustainable’ ranges (including us) and claiming that they’re committed to reducing waste and carbon emissions without offering any detail on what they’re actually doing, customers are understandably confused about what ‘sustainable fashion’ actually means.
As a brand inspired by nature, we want to make sure our values remain at the core of everything we do, that we hold ourselves accountable, and that we operate with honesty and transparency allowing consumers to make informed decisions about what they do and don’t choose to purchase. So, we want to start by giving some more information about what we are and what we’re not.
What is sustainable/sustainability?
It’s a word that gets thrown about more and more these days, not just by the fashion industry, but within the whole business world and beyond. Being ‘sustainable’ is the trendy thing to be at the moment. It is applied to many different areas, but most often in recent years, the environment – in particular our actions to preserve the planet for future generations and combat climate change.
The official definition is…
‘The property of being environmentally sustainable; the degree to which a process or enterprise is able to be maintained or continued while avoiding the long-term depletion of natural resources.’
Let’s break this down, shall we?
In simple terms, ‘sustainability’ means that something is able to SUSTAIN its current level of operation and existence, without depleting resources now or in the future.
Let’s cut to the chase. Is this the case for us, running Bleubird without depleting resources right now? No.
Do we think we will ever be sustainable? Probably not.
Is this the case for any business or even individual right now? That’s not for us to say.
Now we’re not experts, in fact, we’re not even close. From our experience, however, it’s pretty obvious how UNsustainable manufacturing and selling products is, no matter how ‘eco-friendly’ the materials we use are. All of our products have an environmental impact.
Yes, we are focused on manufacturing new products with organic or recycled materials, however, there are still carbon emitting and damaging processes to production that we can’t avoid. For this reason, it is impossible for us to be completely ‘sustainable’. Claiming to be is simply greenwashing, which, in turn, can be more damaging for the environment as consumers are being led to believe they are making better choices and buying more, when the truth is, this isn’t always the case…
What are we then?
As a brand, we exist within a wider industry that is far from sustainable. From human rights violations to high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and plastic pollution to ecosystem damage, the sins of the global fashion industry are vast.
This culture of overconsumption, wasteful production, and fast fashion is not something we want to contribute to.
We aren’t saying that we’re doing everything perfectly. In fact, we’ll be the first to say that we make mistakes and there are many things we could be doing better. This is why we want to hold ourselves to account and continuously strive to find better alternatives and new ways to reduce our impact.
What is important to us is that we are honest and transparent with our community, allowing you to make informed decisions about what you buy.
What we’re really setting out to do is consistently trying to forge a better path in the world of lower-impact/eco-conscious apparel and equipment, whether that be through finding better alternatives when it comes to materials, increasing the transparency and traceability of our supply chain, making changes to our packaging, or finding incredible causes we can support.
It’s important to us that our community is informed about the purchases they’re making. Therefore, we will be doubling down on our efforts to communicate specific, concrete information about the materials used and the impact of individual products.
You, our community, deserve to know exactly what is going on when it comes to the products you’re purchasing. So, here is a little overview of our core values here at Bleubird:
Our values / Our dos and don’ts
- We aim to use 100% organic and recycled materials in all our products (it’s not always possible, but we’re doing pretty well so far).
- Compostable/biodegradable/recyclable/recycled packaging as standard.
- We plant one tree for every order.
- We fund important projects that reduce CO2 emissions and improve people’s lives. Read more about Bleubird in Malawi here.
- We will never destroy or throw away leftover or returned items – these get a second home through our Salvage Yard.
- We’ll never stop looking for better alternatives and what more we can do. So, if you want to find out more about our eco side, click here.
To the future…
There are always improvements to be made when it comes to doing what’s right for the planet. We’re excited about the potential of what’s to come both here at Bleubird and in society as a whole for finding new ways to improve, develop, and adapt what we’re doing right now to be kinder to the planet.
Technology and education are rapidly advancing when it comes to innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment. We know there is a long journey ahead but as a team, we’re fully on board, committed and we’re super stoked to be implementing as many positive changes as we can.
In a nutshell…
Inspired by nature and designed for adventure, Bleubird products encourage and enable everyone to enjoy the outdoors.
Mountain, Ocean, and everywhere in between.
With nature at the heart of our inspiration and drive, we feel a profound responsibility to hold ourselves accountable, build an authentic business, and recognise our environmental and social impact.
As a team, we strive to create environmentally conscious products that connect with our customers’ desires, interests, and values.
We’re always looking for what more we can do and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!