Kourtney Kardashian Barker and Boohoo have announced a collaboration which includes two sustainable elements collections coupled with eco-educational programs. As the brand ambassador, Kourtney's collaboration will feature the launch of the two capsule collections as a quest exploring the potential for a more affordable and sustainable fashion future.
“When boohoo first approached me with this idea that was all about sustainability and style, I was concerned about the effects of the fast fashion industry on our planet. Boohoo responded with excitement and a desire to incorporate more sustainable practices into our line. It’s been an enlightening experience speaking directly with industry experts. I’m grateful for the opportunity to use my platform to drive conversations that lead to ongoing change and use my voice to share actionable tips with consumers on how we can play our own part. There’s still lots of work to be done and improvements to be made, but I truly believe that any progress we can make when it comes to sustainability is a step in the right direction and will open up the conversation for future advancements.” - KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN BARKER
IRK spent half a day at the Boohoo showroom in Paris learning about their journey to sustainability. It was eye opening to learn what it takes for a low cost / fast fashion company to take on sustainable and humane practices. It was obviously not easy but the group of woman we met from the Boohoo's sustainability team are dedicated to making it work and to inspire their customers to change the way they buy, use and recycle their clothing.
For Boohoo it all started two years ago when their business was at the centre of a worker exploitation scandal. It was proved that the allegations of paying workers £3.50 an hour were not true but Boohoo chose to delve into a self-inflicted criminal investigation. They hired ex police detectives and other experts to go undercover in their own company and their partner companies to find out just how bad it was. They discovered that they were not perfect and that production of their products was being outsourced to companies without their approval and some of these were unable to provide evidence of compliance with their code of conduct on pay. So their first trial was to put into effect new rules and regulations to make sure all their partners and subsidiaries were treating their employees fairly. That was already an undertaking but it wasn't enough for Boohoo.
In a poll interviewing thousands of Boohoo clients they learned that their customers had no idea what sustainable clothing really is and that they did not think they could afford it but they would like to be more sustainable if they just knew how. Sustainability has had a wrap of being elitist and only for the upper-middle class to wealthy who can afford a €200 pair of jeans that were made locally with organic cotton and using sustainable dyes. So Boohoo took on how they were going to educate their customers and how they were going to offer sustainable fashion at an affordable price.
So this is where boohoo might have partnered with a designer that has been designing sustainable fashion for years but instead they went to a Kardashian, who are notorious for wasting resources flying around on their private jets. At this point most people would say Boohoo is crazy but we think they might be onto something. After all, if they can convert Kourtney Kardashian Barker and have her take on some sustainable practices then why not 1 percent of her 150 million followers and who knows Boohoo might help convince people sustainable fashion is for everyone.
"We are delighted to be working with Kourtney. We all know there’s an environmental and social cost to producing clothes, but there are ways the fashion industry can be smarter. boohoo has taken the bold decision to listen to our customers when they tell us they want to make more sustainable choices, but that the jargon makes it hard to really understand what their options are. When we first met with Kourtney, she said exactly the same thing, and we realized we had an opportunity to use this collaboration to try and help inform our customers and empower them to make more informed choices. When we spoke to the experts from across the industry, everyone said education was the key, and we could all see this was quite a unique opportunity to speak directly to millions of people across the globe and deliver something we don’t believe has been done before." - CAROL KANE ‘ Co-Founder and Executive Director boohoo Group
Of course Boohoo surrounded themselves and Kardashian Barker with impartial experts including Tim Nelson, Chief Executive Officer at Hope for Justice and Slave-Free Alliance,
John Hickling, Director at Glass Onion Vintage, Christine Dean, founder of Redress, Steven Bethell founder Beyond Retro, Patrick Duffy founder of the Global Fashion Exchange, and Stephanie Shepard, co-founder Future Earth who have been guiding and educating Boohoo and Kourtney Kardashian on the dos and don'ts of sustainability. And the first thing they learned is that except for vintage fashion there is no way of being 100 % sustainable and that is something we all have to understand and then do our very best to get as close to 100% as possible.
IRK was interested in the diverse solutions Boohoo and Kourtney Kardashian found in their first 45-piece capsule collection. First off they sourced two vintage looks including 1000 fabulous biker leather jacket. Thats right Boohoo is selling their first vintage clothing so except for transportation they get a gold star from IRK for that. They also created designs that can extend the use of a dress or a coat by making it versatile. The collection includes long sweater dresses that can be made short or even into a top. They also have several coats that can be made into short jackets and the arms even come off. They had a fabulous versatile trench for only £35. They also found several solutions for the materials they sourced; they have a matching pale pink sweat pants and top made from cotton in collaboration with cotton connect which has seen 2500 farmers trained in the benefits of more sustainable cotton production and good business practices that will bring life back to the earth. 41 of the 45 piece collection contain recycled fibres such as recycled cotton and polyester.
Are you convinced yet that Boohoo and Kourtney might actually be making an effort? Well if you want to know more you should visit the Boohoo website as it is full of videos where Kourtney discusses with global industry experts to obtain a better grasp of the problems the fashion industry faces in this arena. The entire voyage was documented as part of a social content series, and it provides a first-person account of the experts they encountered on and off camera, the conversations they had, what they discovered, and how this continues to inspire the project and the boohoo brand in the future.
In the series, Kardashian Barker seeks to go behind the industry's surface, interacting with experts that help her and the viewer gain a deeper knowledge of the industry's difficulties and potential. Workers' rights, human rights, textile waste, up-cycling, resale, and vintage fashion experts will address the audience. Kardashian Barker also enlisted the help of her long-time friend and sustainability influencer Stephanie Shepard, co-founder of Future Earth, to identify the challenging questions that need to be asked and to start the dialogue about whether style and sustainability can truly coexist. You can also learn great tips on how to extend the life of your clothing and how to pass it on to someone else when you don't want it anymore.
If affordable brands like Boohoo are willing to change their ways the future of fashion looks a bit greener. Sustainability needs to be affordable so that everyone can do their part. The collection releases September 13 at boohoo.com