Coming off the back of eight weeks of Love Island's disposable garment drops, it's nice to see the all-consuming zeitgeist pivot back to talk of sustainability and slow fashion.
However, in the fashion world, where there's a buzzword, there's capitalism – which has seen the billion-dollar industry sway to the demand of the sustainability set in order to flog like the world's on fire.
With added news that cotton buds, plastic drinking straws and other single-use plastics could be banned from sale in a number of European countries next year, designers have had to get creative in order to secure the bag while still bowing to public need.
Enter, Dior's €130 reusable straws.
The Red Toile de Jouy set features six gold-tone hand-painted and hand-blown glass straws.
Half of the straws are a solid gold colour, while the other three feature a gold spiral motif. The vintage-looking packaging is designed to match many of Dior's other home items, including a €620 cushion, €190 candle, and €130 dinner plate.
However, the new product offering shouldn’t come as a surprise: Dior’s corporate parent, LVMH, has in recent years enacted a variety of earth-friendly measures, like installing LED lights in its stores and sponsoring UNESCO’s biodiversity programs.
The group—led by the second-richest man on the planet—Bernard Arnault, recently acquired Stella McCartney’s namesake clothing line after the designer ended her relationship with Kering.
While brands eschewing plastic for more biodegradable counterparts is always favourable, is there really no such thing as bad sustainability?
Perhaps we, as magazine writers, are jaded.
The thick murky waters of greenwashing have long had us submerged, with almost every new product claiming that they can claw back climate change with a diverse mix of vitamins and minerals.
Consumers are, of course, wholly entitled to consume when and how they so wish, but, for some reason, we don't think that six hand-blown straws will allow for the cultural change that simply sipping with mouths can't?
Fashion’s attempt to raise awareness or bring about political change via marketable products is nothing new.
The trend is also in keeping with the current vogue for non-essential luxury items. Often referred to as “gateway drugs” in fashion because they are cheaper than clothes – items such as belts and lighters drive revenue more than garments.
Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale, a nonprofit aimed at protecting marine life, described straws as “a gateway plastic”.
So, are we being had?
The concept of hypebeast fashion by way of sustainability is entirely rooted in ethics. While buzzwords rule the roost, the only sure-fire way of assessing the partisan dilemma is asking internally.
Are you buying these straws to plug a gap in which plastic can no longer fulfil? Or, are you keen for your Instagram to be updated by way of Red Toile de Jouy?
I think we know the answer.