Missguided is selling a £1 bikini, because fuck the planet!

The earth is screaming

At the end of last week, online fast fashion brand Missguided released a £1 bikini. Yes, that's one pound for an entire bikini set. While the price may sound appealing to some (proven by the fact this is the second time the fast fashion label has dropped the item and it promptly sold out again this time round), others took to Twitter to condemn the bikini, as they discussed the expoitation of workers, the ramifications that something like this will have on the planet, and what the actual point is (beside column inches for making the cheapest clothing) given the company is definitely making a loss. 

Since the tragedy of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, non-profit organisation Fashion Revolution has staged Fashion Revolution Weeks, which aim to draw attention to ethical dilemmas in the fashion industry. One of the issues that has become more prominent in discussions about ethical sourcing, is the mistreatment of factory workers. When it comes down to it, several things contribute to the final price of merchandise: the production, packaging, shipping, and more. If the end price of an item in this case is £1, which is likely not reflective of the process, how much money is being returned to workers? Notably, Missguided was one of the labels found to be working with UK-based sweatshops, as detailed in a report published last year. 

Likewise, we all know by now (or at least should know) that a climate emergency has been declared, and that the fashion industry has a huge part to play when it comes to rectifying its mistakes to ensure the earth's future. From the environmental impact caused by the use of fur, to the revelation of how many brands burn their unsold stock, and the fact that many items sent back as returns actually just end up in landfill, it goes without saying that fashion labels, and particularly fast fashion labels, could and should be doing more to prevent the outcomes of climate change. As a starting point, in this instance, they could probably start by not making ludicrously cheap items that will likely end up in the bin as soon as the summer is over. 

On top of the issue surrounding the cost, people took to Twitter to display their frustrations towards the point that the bikini itself is not sustainable and made from 85 per cent polyester. One user said, “Let’s just think for a minute about how many thousands of these bikinis are going to sell this summer, to then end up being thrown away because they will inevitably fall apart because they’re ONE POUND. Polyester is NOT biodegradable. 20-200 years is the timestamp polyester has to decompose depending on the conditions it is in. The fact that so many people will be buying this shit ass bikini to go and enjoy the beauty of our planet e.g. the beach is just…”

Missguided's latest release comes soon after the French government announced that each year over 650 million Euros worth of product is either thrown away or burned. Taking a stand against the implications this has on the planet, the French prime minister explained that over the next four years the nation would work to implement new legislation, which makes the destruction of surplus stock illegal. Hopefully Britain won't be too far behind. 

We reached out to Missguided for comment, but as yet have received no response.