Edinburgh-based shopping app Mallzee is tackling fast fashion's transparency problem with the launch of Lost Stock clothing boxes. Mallzee fills the boxes with cancelled clothing orders from brands like Topshop, Gap, and Sports Direct, and the proceeds from sales supports garment workers fighting the coronavirus (Covid-19), while reducing new season clothing from ending up in landfill.
"If coronavirus doesn't kill my workers, then starvation will," says a Bangladeshi factory owner in a statement from Mallzee. It's no secret that fast fashion's negligence of ethical and sustainable supply chains has been further exposed by the coronavirus. Major retailers like Arcadia Group, and Debenhams are only a couple brands that have cancelled over £1.6 million in clothing orders. Last-minute order cancellation by Western retailers — many from the United Kingdom — has left millions of garment workers unpaid, starving, and vulnerable to sickness from the coronavirus. What's also worrying are the mountains of unwanted new season stock that will inevitably end up in landfills.
"People in the UK have really come together to support each other in the fight against coronavirus, and it's been really heartwarming to see so many fashion influencers get behind this initiative and help those in the industry who are really suffering as a result of the pandemic," says Mallzee CEO Cally Russell. "COVID-19 is a health and economic crisis in the UK, but it's going to be a humanitarian crisis in countries like Bangladesh unless support is provided. With the Lost Stock approach, consumers get a great deal and are also helping at the same time."
Mallzee partnered with Bangladesh NGO SAJIDA Foundation to launch Lost Stock clothing boxes to ensure payment for garment workers and avoid new clothes going to landfill. The SAJIDA Foundation promises that with each purchase of a £35 Lost Stock clothing box, proceeds go directly toward garment workers and their families to provide a food and hygiene package that supports a family for one week.
SAJIDA Foundation has already provided 26 Bangladesh districts with 50,000 household food and hygiene packages, 18,000 sets of PPE, 475 portable handwashing devices. While Lost Box has sold thousands of clothing boxes in 48 hours. Check Lost Stock for your own £35 clothing box, or you can purchase gift card for £39 to support a family for one week.