The £1 Missguided bikini – how fast fashion is costing the planet

If you haven’t heard, Missguided are cashing in on fast fashion, selling a bikini for £1.

A quid may seem like a bargain. But this price frankly costs the Earth.

Missguided claim it’s a “one-off item to celebrate 10 years of empowering women to look and feel good without breaking the bank.”

This is where our first issue lies with the £1 bikini. Has anyone considered the people who are making these bikinis? If a product is being sold for a £1, does this cover the costs of their wages? What about their working conditions, too? Millions of employees work long hours in poor conditions, slaving away to brands that produce throwaway fashion. Does this bikini empower them, too? Frankly there’s nothing empowering about sweatshop culture.

The fashion e-tailer also said that they had “absorbed the costs” to “offer the bikini at an incredible price.” Again, we can’t help but be cynical of this. Fast fashion is responsible for using huge amounts of the Earth’s resources. In fact, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. For example, one cotton T-shirt requires the same amount of water as one person would drink in 2.5 years. Have Missguided absorbed any of the costs this bikini drains from the planet’s resources? After scouring their website, we couldn’t find anything on environmental policies. And while Missguided state there has been “no compromise with this bikini”, 85 per cent of its materials are polyester. More than 70 million barrels of oil are used to make polyester each year. And it’s not a bio-degradable material, either. We’d argue this is a huge compromise for the planet.

The demand for fast fashion

Sadly, one thousand of the £1 bikinis are being stocked on the website each day. They were all sold out as we write this. This demonstrates our rapid rate of consumption. Whether it’s the bargain price, or trend bandwagon that draws us in, we just don’t see the value in clothes any more as result. Will we really treasure and care for an item that costs less than our morning coffee? And will this garment last the test of time? Once we decide we’re finished our fast fashion pieces – perhaps they’ve fallen apart, or are no longer in style, we discard them without a second thought, only to buy into next season’s ‘must-have’ pieces. It’s a vicious circle – but, one that can be broken.

Buy sustainable

If you value the planet as we do, here are three ethical fashion brands worth buying a bikini from.

Marble Swimwear

Marble swimwear is made with 78 per cent Econyl – a recycled fibre made from recycled plastics such as abandoned fishing nets, water bottles and other post-consumer waste. In fact, once the Econyl yarn is then woven with another material it proves to be five times more durable when exposed to chlorine and UV than comparable swimwear fabrics.

Pursuit the Label

Pursuit The Label was created in a bid to help fight marine pollution by turning regenerated ocean waste into beautiful quality swimwear. Again, they use Econyl as the material to make their swimwear from. Plus, their packaging is made from 100 per cent recycled cardboard and is also recyclable. There’s zero plastic in any of their packaging!

Stay Wild 

Co-founders Natalie Glaze and Zanna van Dijk both grew up scuba diving, snorkelling and exploring the depths of the open water. And it’s this love for the ocean that inspired them to create Stay Wild. All of their pieces are designed and created in London to ensure a completely transparent production process.