Sustainability Background


The fashion industry didn’t always have such a disproportionate negative
impact on the environment and society. However, in the late 1900s and early 2000s, advancements in manufacturing technology, lowered international trade and labor barriers, and agricultural innovations made producing certain types of fashion garments far cheaper and quicker. Fast fashion was born. Fast fashion represents a type of fashion production that prioritizes low-cost, quick manufacturing processes that typically disregard labor and human rights, environmental impact and product quality.

The availability of fast fashion pieces in developed nations like the US changed our perception of buying clothes, bags, and accessories. Cheaper options are perceived as more disposable. These trends led to an explosion in fashion consumption, with today’s consumers purchasing 400% more items than individuals did two decades ago. Moreover, the average American generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year, meaning that most of this consumption is landfilled after only a few uses. Historically, clothing, bags, and accessories were items that we held onto for long periods of time, but with lower quality and cost and higher availability, these items are now perceived as replaceable and disposable.

This type of fashion production has huge social and environmental consequences. The fashion industry is now one of the most polluting, environmentally damaging, and socially unethical industries in the world. This type of fashion cannot last- it is inherently unsustainable. While currently propped up on large marketing budgets and global trade relationships, the diminishing availability of natural resources and
the impacts of climate change and social upheaval will render this type of fashion production obsolete. It’s a lose-lose system for the producers, suppliers, customers, and even companies. But - hope is not all lost!

These dark truths about the fast fashion industry are coming to light, and public attention must favor an industry change for the better. We can combat fast fashion with slower, thoughtful, and considerate fashion. Fashion that prioritizes raw materials suppliers and manufacturing partners as equals and supply chain partners, rather than a hierarchy system. Fashion that incorporates sustainability all the way back into the design process, to create products with less waste and eco-friendly materials. Fashion that creates products that last a lifetime, not one wear.

Our goal at Margo Paige is to be a part of a new wave of businesses in the fashion industry that challenges those historical practices and replaces them with a new fashion paradigm built on sustainability, ethics, and transparency. We started fulfilling this goal with our first-of-its-kind fashionable, affordable clear handbag design, and are extending it to our supply chain and business operations.

Because “the way it’s always been done” isn’t how we do things around here.