ASOS is a global online retailer selling fresh fashion from over 850 brands, shipping to 196 countries. With its own-brand range of clothing and accessories included, sales come in at around £2 billion year on year, making the online platform a one-stop-shop for 'cool' millennials all over Europe.
Launching in the year 2000, the brand survived the “dot.com” bubble burst of 2001, where many online retailers did not, and is now one of the most popular clothing sites among ‘twenty-somethings’, mainly due to its affordability. The online destination has been criticised for its lack of sustainable credentials, rated ‘not good enough’ by sustainable fashion authority Good On You, due to the lack of eco-friendly materials in its own brand range. ASOS own brand clothing has not yet committed to eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals in production for example, which has been met with disapproval in the industry.
However, appealing to a younger demographic has meant that the brand has been slowly and surely becoming more environmentally conscious. The millennial penchant for vintage clothing triggered ASOS to set up a ‘marketplace’ platform, so young people can sell and recycle their clothes online. Ever since, other second-hand clothing platforms have appeared all over Europe, such as the currently dominating Depop, described as a ‘social shopping app’. But what else is ASOS doing to improve its green reputation?
What is ASOS’ new responsible filter and why should you use it?
This week, ASOS has revealed two new features on their website, under the umbrella term of a Responsible filter. While online shopping for a new dress or a pair of shoes, you may be used to setting filters such as maximum price, size and style, but now you can also opt to browse ‘responsibly’.
Using this responsible filter, you can choose either to browse ‘recycled’ clothing/accessories or those made from ‘sustainable materials.’ This is a huge move for ASOS, as the brand known first and foremost for its affordable, fast fashion. The category ‘recycled’ may include garments made from recycled goods, waste, plastic and unused textiles to create new products. Likewise, ‘sustainable’ fabrics can be defined as those having used less water, and which are better for the environment by being parabens-free, using organic cotton, being hand-made and so on.
Below are three of our favourite products from the 'recycled' materials filter:
1) Selected Femme light knit jumper in Mykonos Blue, £45.00
2) Wolf & Whistle Fuller Bust Exclusive Eco checkers bikini in black and white, £20
3) Anaya With Love tulle off shoulder crop top co-ord in blue, £22.50
Taking a step in the sustainable direction, we are hopeful that ASOS will start a trend on the high street, with other retailers implementing similar filters online. High-street brand Boohoo.com, known for heralding fast fashion, has just released a 34-piece range made with recycled polyester that had been destined for landfills, for example. It seems the movement is catching on, but, as one sustainable shopper scathingly told the BBC of late, "if someone really cared about buying ethically sourced, green clothes then they wouldn't shop at Boohoo."
All in all, the best thing you can do to beat fast fashion is to buy from known sustainable brands who take the environment seriously and produce high quality, ethically made clothes.