The Vetements installation at Harrods. Image Source.
Vetements is taking a stand against fast fashion. Over the next 12 months, the French label will stage 50 events dedicated to raising awareness about how bad overproduction is for the fashion industry and the planet. They kicked things off this week with an anti-fast fashion installation at Harrods in London.
Giant piles of clothing donated by Harrods employees and charity stores fill up all four windows at the luxury retailer. Members of the public are also invited to donate clothes to the project which hopes to draw attention to problems of overproduction and overconsumption.
“We have the luxury of being a young, independent brand, which has the opportunity to speak out without being afraid of powerful backers,” Vetements CEO Guram Gvasalia told Vogue. “The problem with sustainability today is that people look at it from the wrong perspective. Yes, where you produce and how you produce is super important. But what people are overseeing is something that’s right in front of our eyes: it’s about how much brands produce and how much consumers buy.”
“Since my first-ever interview I’ve been saying this: the basic thing of economics is the supply meeting demand. If you go to a shop and you see something on sale, it means it’s been overproduced,” he added.
Gvasalia said that he invited a number of brands to take part in one of the brand’s fifty events but no one was interested. “Nobody wanted to take part. Not a single brand; really huge corporations. Everyone is afraid of admitting that they make more clothes than they can sell.” How surprising!
Vetements don’t have any physical stores and they only produce what they know they can sell. Gvasalia said that other luxury retailers could easily become more sustainable if they adopted a similar strategy.
“For brands to become more sustainable today, they need to do one simple thing: have their supply meet their demand. It’s like throwing away food in a world full of hunger. Our planet is sick because of us, because we want more and more and more, without thinking of generations to come,” he explained.
Gvasalia also encouraged customers to adopt this attitude: “Try to think, ‘Do I need all these clothes?’” In addition to this question, the new installation forces consumers to ask themselves “How long will it be before I throw these clothes out and where will they go when that happens?”
The Harrods installation runs from February 8 to March 2 at the Brompton Road, Knightsbridge store.