Fossil Fashion Campaign by Changing Markets

The Fossil Fashion campaign by the Changing Markets Foundation aims to address the harmful impact of fast fashion and the use of cheap synthetic fibres. These plastic fibres, such as polyester and nylon, account for nearly 70% of global textile production and form the backbone of fast fashion, but also cause serious problems in textile waste management.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, the campaign launched various strategic initiatives, such as exposing how certification systems are used for greenwashing, examining fashion brands’ policies regarding synthetic fibres and their growing dependency on them, drafting a policy brief on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and publishing a revealing report linking Russian oil to polyester produced in India and China and purchased by brands worldwide.

With the support of the Spronck Foundation, Changing Markets conducted on-the-ground research in Kenya, focusing on the trade in second-hand clothing. They revealed that EU countries annually dump 37 million pieces of plastic clothing waste in Kenya that are too dirty or damaged to be reused, causing serious health and environmental problems for vulnerable communities. The report had a significant impact locally and sparked discussions about legislative changes, both nationally and in exporting countries.

The campaign’s efforts influenced the EU’s Textile Strategy, emphasizing the need for EPR for textiles and raising awareness about the link between fossil fuels and fast fashion. Their research received widespread media attention and recognition, contributing to a growing movement towards more sustainable and responsible clothing production.