SUSTAINABILITY OR PR POINTS? KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN X BOOHOO
A new ‘sustainable’ collection between fast fashion brand Boohoo and Kourtney Kardashian Barker has launched this week, with over 60 items of clothing made from recycled polyester and cotton.
Kourtney has stated that she wants to bring attention to the impacts of fast fashion on the environment, and has been appointed as Boohoo’s ‘sustainability ambassador’. This appointed title and collaboration have raised several questions around the two and their own impact on the environment.
A 2019 report by the UK Environmental Audit Committee labelled Boohoo as one of the worst fast fashion brands in the world, due to their poor working conditions and $3.50 wage for employees in their Leicester factory. Not to mention, Boohoo releases a colossal amount of clothing each year, with their ‘about us’ section on their website stating:
“Style never sleeps and neither do we- we’re 24/7, dropping over 500 new products a week, so you can have the latest looks for less.”
Kourtney has also been ridiculed for both her and her sisters’ lifestyles- with multiple overseas trips and private jets, and their excessive consumption of water while California is experiencing severe drought.
Is Kourtney really the best fit for a sustainability ambassador role? Or is she simply just a well-known name?
Kourtney has posted about protecting the environment and the issue of climate change on her Instagram, and has revealed she’s working on an upcoming social media series about the impact of fast fashion on the environment, interviewing experts in areas such as human rights, textile waste and recycled/vintage fashion.
People don’t seem to be buying it though. After her Boohoo collection was announced, it almost immediately received backlash, with people expressing their concerns on pairing up with Boohoo to make a statement on the fast fashion industry. Kris’ usual damage control has not been up to speed as Kourtney has responded on her Instagram to these concerns, stating:
“I thought about the attention this collaboration would bring to people who may otherwise have no idea about the impacts of fast fashion on our planet. I thought about how pushing Boohoo to make some initial changes and then holding them accountable to larger change would be impactful. It’s definitely making some noise which is exactly what I was hoping for.”
“I want to help and from my experience so far working with the team I work with at Boohoo, they do too. I will be elaborating on their changes, how we’ve made this line more sustainable, and what I’ve learned we as consumers can do to help… all to come!!”
Boohoo doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that it is a fast fashion producer, but this collaboration is a PR crisis, making the brand seem inauthentic. Instagram users under this post have continued to call out both Boohoo and Kardashian, with comments like:
“Producing something ‘new’ and adding 2 more collections and more products is not the way to go. Why not REDUCE their output as part of your ambassadorship. The answer is not MORE pollution.”
“But can we have the activism without even more new clothes…”
“FAST FASHION WILL NEVER BE SUSTAINABLE. You literally just jeopardized your brand.”
While fast fashion isn’t going anywhere, Boohoo and Kourtney both need to do better, ethically and with their communication messages. With Boohoo launching over 26,000 items a year, it’ll be interesting to see if their ethical and sustainable practices change from this partnership.
By Isobel Goodwin-Moore – PR & Influencer Coordinator at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn