If you haven’t seen it already, Swedish fast fashion brand Gina Tricot just released the music video THE WAY addressing their sustainable approach to cotton and denim production. Let’s just say they received massive criticism. First the obvious– fast fashion is not sustainable, but then there’s the lack of complexity and awareness regarding class, racisms and postcolonial agriculture. The famous Swedish actress Cecilia Forss dances in the cotton field together with Indian cotton farmers who most likely have been told to just keep on smiling. Indeed, it is a problematic video.
Nevertheless Gina Tricot is trying. They did not make it all the way, they didn’t look good doing it, but they took a baby step. The criticism they are receiving right now is likely going to scare them off from continuing on a “sustainable” journey. “Sustainability” should not be an exclusive group of people and companies who is in-the-know. It should go without saying – sustainability is for everyone and everything. Hating on those who try is not going to solve any environmental problems. What about a different approach, let’s hear some constructive criticism of what they could do better next time?
Furthermore, this music video is targeting a specific audience. Roughly, the Gina Tricot customer is 15 years old, is constantly thinking about fitting in and buys a new party-top every week. She is not an environmental activist for, most likely she doesn’t even know about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. For all we know, this music video might be her first meeting with sustainable fashion. One could argue that she would get a skewed view on sustainability from this video, but nonetheless, the word is now in her vocabulary.
To conclude, no it’s not a good video and Gina Tricot is not a sustainable fashion company. However, let’s not hate on the ones who try. They did something, they showed interest, now let’s welcome them and help them become better.