Why are we financing a #FashionRevolution
by Carolina Ribeiro (MarCom @ GoParity)
The fashion industry is the second most polluting and by far one of the least ethical in the world, as well as being responsible for the 4th largest industrial accident in history (BBC). However, it has not always been like this: the Portuguese did not always chuck out 200,000 tons of clothes per year (APA) nor did they wear a garment, on average, only 4 times (FR). The so-called fast-fashion is a business model that relies on and promotes rampant, compulsive and impulsive consumption, whereby scale is the only way to be financially sustainable.
Around the year 2000, high-street chains such as Zara and H&M, found that they could get designers to create collections and produce them on the other side of the world at a much cheaper cost, enabling them to have a new collection every week - yes, 52 per year. The consumer loved it and the fashion world saw a revolution happen, which, not many years later, would reveal its very serious impact on the planet and people.
Now, let’s dig into the facts and figures. In 2013, one of Bangladesh's leading factories producing for major Western fast-fashion brands - H & M, Mango, Zara, Pull & Bear, Primark - collapsed, killing 1138 people (BBC). The textile industry is responsible for one of the most chemical-intensive crops (cotton) and the reason why the Buriganga River in Bangladesh is one of the most toxic in the world, severely affecting the nervous and hormonal system of about 50 million people whom depend on it for water and agriculture (RiverBlue). 2720 litres of water are required to make a mere t-shirt, the equivalent to what a human consumes in 3 years (FR). If that isn’t enough to shock you, it is worth mentioning that 35% of the global microplastic pollution is caused by the fashion industry (Boucher & Friot).
Fashion Revolution is a global movement that strives for a transparent (every year, a Fashion Transparency Index is published), fair and environmentally friendly fashion industry. We at GoParity want to actively participate, doing all we can to bring together citizens who want to invest their savings sustainably whilst creating impact, as well as those who are looking for funding and promise to play their part in this transition to a fairer, more environmentally friendly society.
At the event that we organized last April, during Fashion Revolution Week, an annual event that brings together more than 3 million people, we gained a better knowledge of Portugal's position within the industry. We had the pleasure to meet various entrepreneurs in the sustainable fashion industry, with their own brands or with social projects related to it, and it has become evident that financing is one of the main challenges. This is where GoParity investors can participate.
"The fashion industry is a giant employer in Portugal, a source of passion for many people and has made significant advances in the areas of sustainability and innovation. We want to be part of this change and give people the opportunity to join in too."- Nuno Brito Jorge, CEO of GoParity
Our first sustainable fashion project is Ballūta, a Portuguese brand of vegan shoes, who are looking for finance to expand to New York. Thus, € 25,000 will be raised by GoParity investors, who will receive 5.50% yearly interest for 5 years on their loan.