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The Best Of Hong Kong
Lifestyle News
By Partner Content | September 7th, 2022

Have you ever thought why you have so many more clothes now than your parents or your grandparents might have had? It’s not just because there is more variety and accessibility, but the rapid decrease in clothing prices due to the rise of fast fashion. We now have 5 times more clothes than our grandparents had! But this has come at a cost — to our health, our environment and the greater ecosystem, and there needs to be a shift back to slow fashion in order to reduce the effects.

Founders of VIPOP | Image: VIPOP

A remedy to fast fashion

One brand doing its part to bring change to the fashion industry, while introducing sustainable clothing and ethical jewellery is VIPOP. Working primarily with designers and artisans across Latin America, they source pieces of great quality from around the world that are created using sustainable materials and processes, empowering indigenous communities and their workers.

As a strong believer in conscious consumerism, VIPOP takes multiple steps to ensure that being stylish doesn’t have to be a burden on the planet and its people. At its core, they aim to highlight Latin American designers that are doing good, whether it be innovating with new eco-friendly materials, working with disappearing indigenous communities, or advocating for female rights and paying it forward.

Image: VIPOP

They also try to ensure that their products are handmade, not only adding to the uniqueness of each piece, but also reducing the environmental impact. Similarly, their designers produce locally, which creates jobs in their home country and increases transparency in the supply chain to ensure the highest sustainability standards. Other steps that their designers take to be more green include being carbon neutral, producing low waste, using organic, vegan or recycled materials, and having low water usage. Finally, in order to produce ethical clothing, they all also guarantee fair wages.

VIPOP also curates specifically for the Asian markets, ensuring a limited collection with no refillment so that the pieces bought are unique to each customer. Moreover, they are careful in their selection of sustainable clothing that appeals to the regional taste, whether it is having swimwear that has greater backside coverage, or adapting to the Asian figure. Given the climate of Hong Kong and neighboring countries, they also curate clothing breathable enough to wear in the heat, but dressy enough for your work event. They are eco- and fashion-conscious women’s go-to for anything from beach and resort wear to cocktail parties. Sustainable, affordable, luxury clothing, swimwear, jewellery and accessories, all under one roof (or website)!

The impacts of fast fashion

While VIPOP might be a solution, it doesn’t eradicate the decades of harm and exploitation done by the fast fashion industry to the environment and garment workers. The numbers are truly terrifying. The fast fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of total global carbon emissions and this continuous cycle of wanting new clothes means that 85% of all textiles go to dumps each year.

Image: VIPOP

The impacts are not limited to the environment, the individuals involved in the creation of the garments are often also harmed, with lasting societal and personal damage. It is not news to us that clothing is often made in countries and factories with limited to non-existent worker rights, with companies often moving to locations to obtain cheaper and cheaper labor. Not only are the working conditions terrible, garment workers often work 14 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week — they are not even paid living wages.

There have also been extensive cases of child labor, as well as health and safety violations, as seen in these three key cases: the factory fires of Ali Enterprises in Pakistan and Tazreen Fashions in Bangladesh, both in 2012, and the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 shocking the world.

Conclusion

Examining the textile industry paints a very bleak picture, but the rise of sustainable fashion and brands such as VIPOP, are the changes needed in the industry. By working with designers that use practices to create eco-friendly fashion and sustainable jewellery, they are revolutionizing the market, promoting conscious consumption.

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