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Image by Rosie Fraser

Beyond Your Clothes” Campaign.

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

The ‘Beyond Your Clothes’ campaign is part of the “SMART Textile & Garments” project, funded by the European Commission and implemented by sequa GmbH - is being launched today, 12th April.

It is a Pan-European campaign consisting of raising awareness on the disastrous environmental consequences of the fast fashion industry and its social impact. It is becoming a growing concern, as our clothes consumption has increased by 60% in only 15 years and is announced to exponentially rise under a business-as-usual scenario.

Meanwhile, with Covid-19, an unprecedented level of unsold garments are burnt or destined for landfills. As a result, some countries are now submerged by this upsurging issue and are considering exporting to stop the accumulation of textile waste.

Therefore, it seems particularly vital to increase awareness around this environmentally threatening conjuncture.


Nowadays, our consuming habits have massively evolved, with brands creating up to 52 different collections per year compared to just 2 seasons a few decades ago. At present a garment can be worn only once, becoming a disposable product. This purchase behaviour brings catastrophic consequences to our environment, given that now, the clothing and textile industry is currently the second largest polluter in the world.

To put the numbers in perspective, we produce 2 billion tee-shirts per year, knowing that one single cotton tee-shirt requires 2700 liters of water (the equivalent of 900 days of drinking water for a single person). In the same direction, in 2017, textile purchases in the EU generated about 654 kg of CO2 emissions per person according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

** (words/ figures Beyond clothes campaign - please note figures such as these are likely to be incorrect today due to the lack of due diligence in qualifying these figures, especially around how much water one t-shirt requires and where those figures originally came from. Therefore figures such as these should not be re-quoted until the industry is able to truly qualify and benchmark these. ) Please see the recent research by Veronica Bates Kassatly. It's time we changed the narrative and make sure we have accurate data to combat climate change instead of using inaccurate data to grow unsustainable sectors.

Meanwhile, the social impact of the textile and garment industry is colossal.

The global outsourcing of the textile and clothing industry has gone hand-in-hand with an almost complete erosion of the labour and social rights of workers. Furthermore, the ILO estimates that 170 million are engaged in child labour, with many being part of the textiles and garments production chains to satisfy the increasing demand.


The EU’ Strategy for Sustainable Textiles aims to reduce the impact of fast fashion on the environment, adopting a new Circular Economy Action Plan. It includes the EU’s new comprehensive Strategy for Textiles with proposals to put in place a new sustainable framework, alongside developing eco-design measures to ensure that textile products are fit for circularity, as well as establishing the uptake of secondary raw materials, tackling the presence of hazardous chemicals, and empowering business and private consumers to choose sustainable textiles and get easy access to reuse services. Additionally, the EU aspires to achieve high levels of separate textile waste collection by 2025.

The ‘Strategy for Textiles’ is part of a wider approach called the ‘European Green Deal’, which identifies textiles as a priority sector for the EU to pave its way towards a carbon neutral and circular economy.


The Campaign designers have created multiple digital assets from informative text and studies provided by Greenpeace, ILO, and UNICEF, the content of the immersive website comprises of several layers of understanding to appeal to readers with varying levels of awareness on the impact of their consumption, and to transform them into well-conscious and empowered consumers.

In addition, there are various sections on sustainability, including how to handle clothes with care to make them last longer, how to look for less energy-intensive fabrics, and demonstrating why clothes are not disposable.

To further enhance the message with riveting imagery, the co-director of the ground-breaking and award-winning documentary RiverBlue, Roger Williams, has allowed 360 Agency Berlin to reuse the outstanding video material that took the crew three years to shoot, providing light onto the world’s most polluted waterways and areas of the global clothing manufacturing industry: China, Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia.

The campaign aims to tie in with the EU's Strategy for Sustainable Textiles and the European Green Deal which identifies textiles as a priority sector to pave the way towards a carbon neutral and circular economy.

“It is essential to mirror what truly stands behind our clothes consumption and to experience that small changes can have some great impacts,”

said Andrea Henao, Founder of 360 Agency Berlin.


Beyond Clothes Campaign


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