Topshop’s zero waste collection: The best of British?

Stephanie Caun

When you associate products with the UK – what do you think of? Marmite? Maybe Pimms?

In my mind, Topshop should have a place up there. My reasoning? Topshop are a hugely successful multinational hailing from the UK – something we see less and less of, particularly as more and more companies are bought by foreign multinationals.

This is why I was thrilled to read about Topshop’s new launch of a clothing range made entirely from surplus stock. Finally! As one of the UK’s largest, influential high-street names. I have waited to see something more from Topshop by way of their citizenship activities.

Thus far, the focus on supply chain has rather stolen the spotlight for CSR issues in the fashion industry, and of course it cannot be denied that it is both a complex and important one. However, I think we are forgetting another imperative concern to be addressed: ‘throw-away fashion’ (otherwise known as the ‘Primark effect’).

This is a very simple dilemma. Person sees outfit. Buys outfit. Wears outfit once or twice. And chucks. The fast pace of fashion means that textile waste is higher than ever. We have seen few impressive initiatives addressing this (although I must cite M&S’ brilliant ‘Shwopping’ campaign here). So for Topshop, this is a great start – let’s just hope it inspires a new trend for the industry and gives us Brits something to be proud of.

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