Kourtney Kardashian addresses backlash over Boohoo collaboration: 'I went back and forth about doing this'

·3 min read
Kourtney Kardashian Barker addresses greenwashing claims on Instagram.  (Photo by: Helen Healey/NBC via Getty Images)
Kourtney Kardashian Barker addresses greenwashing claims on Instagram. (Photo by: Helen Healey/NBC via Getty Images)

Kourtney Kardashian took to Instagram on Tuesday to address backlash following her appointment as sustainability ambassador for fast fashion conglomerate, Boohoo.

The announcement came on Sept. 6 and was immediately met with backlash, confusion and irritation from consumers and activists alike who found the collaboration to be inauthentic, and feared it would do little to invoke active change toward sustainability.

As sustainability ambassador, Kardashian will be releasing two capsule collections with the brand, the first of which to be revealed on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The pieces will range between $6 and $100, including 41 pieces made with recycled polyester and cotton, as well as two vintage biker jackets in collaboration with Glass Onion, a wholesale vintage company.

Comments under the brand's post were filled with skepticism, as many pointed out the dichotomy of a fast fashion brand and sustainability.

"Would absolutely love to see you use the money you spend on these misleading marketing campaigns to actually pay the people who make your clothes," wrote Venetia La Manna, a slow fashion campaigner.

"I'm just curious though, what was the budget? Orrrr because she's such an advocate is she doing this out of goodwill and genuine authentic care for the planet - to make one of the worlds [sh***iest] brands better?" wrote Brett Staniland, a sustainable fashion advocate and designer.

Kardashian addressed the backlash and confronted her own skepticisms about the collaboration in an Instagram post.

"I went back and forth about doing this collection with @boohoo because the first thing I think about when I hear the words 'fast fashion' is that it's bad for our planet," she wrote, promptly acknowledging that the situation is counterintuitive. "Boohoo approached me to be a sustainability ambassador, and though I knew it would get backlash because the two just don't go hand in hand, I thought about the fact that fast fashion, or the fashion industry in general, isn't going anywhere. 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," she wrote.

Kardashian has worked with fast fashion brands in the past and hopes through the lens of sustainability, she will be able to spark actual change lacking in previous collaborations.

"I certainly don't have all the answers, but for someone who has done a fast fashion line collaboration in the past, which didn't get backlash because I was not calling attention to trying to make better changes, I feel proud about doing it with intention and purpose," she wrote.

In 2019, Boohoo was ranked as one of the least sustainable fashion brands in the UK by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), and has since made steps toward addressing concerns surrounding labor conditions and sustainability.

She closed out her caption with a call to action, and plans to follow up on the brand's efforts toward sustainability.

"I invite any experts who have ideas, suggestions (I have already seen some of you and will absolutely be reaching out to talk and learn more) to reach out. 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!!"

In addition to the capsule collections, Boohoo is also launching a series, hosted by Kardashian, who will speak with sustainability experts about sustainability in the fashion industry.

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