6 December 2022
It’s not a good time for fast fashion at all. H&M has announced it is cutting 1,500 jobs and faces a new, heavy greenwashing charge. Inditex is grappling with strikes by its workers who are demanding more money in payroll. Shein comes under attack from Greenpeace, with a report demonstrating the use of dangerous chemicals in products, as well as denouncing the poor working conditions of employees. All of this frames a faded economic picture with profits and revenues declining for many players in the sector. In short, the stomach aches of fast fashion are many. And quite significant. Report by La Conceria.
All the bellyaches of fast fashion – H&M, greenwashing and more
The economic situation, the increase in costs, the greater awareness of consumer sustainability threatens fast fashion. All the players in the sector are paying the price and are reorganizing themselves. H&M has announced it is cutting around 1,500 jobs as part of a program designed to cut costs. For 2022, the goal is to open 89 new stores and close 254. Furthermore, in Missouri, a new class action lawsuit has been filed based on the assumption that H&M ‘s Conscious Choice collection (pictured) is not green at all. H&M is accused of greenwashing.
Strikes from Zara
Inditex, parent company of Zara, is facing a wave of strikes by its workers (not only in Spain) demanding a wage increase. Protests that could increase in mid-December when Inditex publishes the quarterly. However, analysts predict that, despite the inflation, the accounts of the Spanish giant, unlike the other players in the sector, will reach their maximum sales and profits this year.
The most targeted is Shein. They accuse the company of using cotton from Xinjiang for clothing exported to the United States. Furthermore, Greenpeace has published a survey according to which 15% of the analyzed garments register quantities of harmful chemicals exceeding the limits allowed in Europe. There’s more. Another report highlighted how in some of its factories’ employees were forced to work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, with only one day off a month and very low wages. Shein said it plans to spend $15 million to upgrade the hundreds of factories in its supply chain over the next 3 to 4 years. But that didn’t convince everyone. Above all, it did not convince the Rolling Stones. Indeed, a week after announcing a merchandising deal with Shein, Mick Jagger’s band demanded that it be terminated immediately.