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Speak Less, Do More

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When earlier this month, Stella McCartney called Joaquin Phoenix a “hero” for wearing the same tuxedo – designed by her – for the entire awards ceremony season, she exposed herself to ridicule from all quarters.

High fashion is often accused of existing in a bubble and while I’m sure McCartney as a mother, an entrepreneur and the employer of many, many people, actually does have a strong grasp on reality, this statement did her no favours.

Hero on this occasion was a hyperbolic overstatement. As one man on Twitter who wears his dad’s old tux said: “What does that make me then?”

Fashion is so anxious about sustainability that some brands are losing the plot. (I keep talking about this and will continue to because no bigger issue has faced the fashion industry.) People are bending over backwards to appear ‘heroic’ when actually they just need to concentrate their energy on making the changes and worry about the press message afterwards.

One of my clients recently spoke to a Swedish sustainability consultant who told her that the Swedish way is introduce more good practices than you talk about. That way if you are ever questioned about your policy you can say in truth that you have done more than they think. Sometimes a brand needs to say less and do more.

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