Author: Ffibi Barnitt
Published: 18th November 2020
As a hugely popular high street shop, Topshop feels like
a good place to start. Founded in 1964 and owned by the Arcadia Group, this brand has evolved into a highstreet favourite, with 319 stores in Britain alone, as well as an average of three million weekly online visits. As a university student, the price point, quality, availability, and seasonal style of Topshop made it a ‘go-to’ for my female friends. Even though I've never been totally in love with their style, the classic Jamie and Joni jeans have been a staple in my wardrobe for years. But how environmentally conscious is this brand?
In 2019, Topshop introduced its CONSIDERED range in an effort to reduce it's environmental impact through using more eco-friendly materials like organic cotton which removes the use of harmful chemicals in fertilisation. They have also recently introduced a vegan footwear collection, PETA-approved. Both these range introductions show a self-awareness and an attempt at change. Another positive is that they keep within Topshop's usual pricing with all 24 styles of jeans costing between £29.99 and £49, making their sustainable fashion affordable and therefore accessible.
Despite this however, only 45 items are currently available in CONSIDERED on their website (as of November 2020) and only 8 pairs of shoes labelled as vegan, which shows a half-hearted effort to provide and maintain this new sustainable style.
As Forbes magazine noted in October 2019, “consumers [are] being more environmentally conscious than ever”, and highlighted the McKinsey study which showed that “online searches for ‘sustainable fashion’ tripled between 2016 and 2019”. By not pushing for this innovation Topshop might be missing out on this fast-increasing market for eco-fashion.
Read the Forbes article here.
For those looking to buy a bit more sustainably, Topshop has given you an option to, even if it is a highly limited one. In my opinion, for such a popular brand, Topshop is not putting enough effort and resources into becoming more environmentally friendly. With climate change becoming more prevalent in youth conversations, will Topshop leave it too late to keep up with the sustainable trend?
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