Conferences and crisis

This week I’ve attended three conferences and have struggled with a crisis of conscience.

Sustainability, supply chain tracing, living wages, alternative materials, recycled plastics, single use plastics, polyester, sustainable cotton. Recyclable products are not the same as recycled materials. The list goes on and it’s all well intentioned. And yet working in an offshoot of the fashion industry, the worst polluter after the oil industry, it’s hard to see how change will happen unless the industry has a massive overhaul and people stop wearing cheap, disposable clothes.

It’s a quandary and I don’t have the answers. I wish there was a solution in which we would all understand we need to make a collective change. We can pay to offset our carbon footprint but what does that really mean?

It’s all about greenwashing as we claim to clean up the oceans by removing plastics when we manufacture plastic toys.

People need to demand better quality clothing and be willing to pay more but does that mean that sustainability is only for the rich? What about countries like China, India? Will they pay for more sustainable fabric?

The term living wage is interesting. A wage paid at a regional level to allow someone to have enough to eat, clothe and house themselves with a little left over for emergencies. It’s not aiming high enough.

I’m left feeling that true sustainability eludes us and the goal of Net Zero by 2030 is impossible to achieve unless something changes drastically and I don’t know what that is.

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