CONVENIENCE TRUTH: UNIQLO'S CLOTHES VENDING MACHINES

Seriously?

Seriously?

News that Japanese fast clothing company Uniqlo is rolling out vending machines in American airports via which customers can grab shirt and jackets on the hop has met with varying responses.

A clever business strategy that allows the company to make market inroads without paying high rents? The future of retail?  Oh so convenient? Or a damning indictment of our convenience culture?

I found out about it on Instagram when Jacinta Fitzgerald, COO of Project Just posted the news with the caption, "No, no, no Uniqlo this is NOT how you buy clothes! #whereisthelove #carewhatyouwear #sustainability "

And I agree. What the?!

I've written about the Japanese love for vending machines before - in Tokyo businessmen who've been out all night can, and do, buy new suits this way.  And who could forget the controversial case of the machine dispensing used knickers?  Second hand was obviously not considered second best here, ho ho. 

But this is not a laughing matter.

Clothes are increasingly designed with disposability in mind, as fast fashion, built on cheap labour in Asia and Africa, booms. Each year, Australians send $500 million worth of clothing to the tip. Oxfam says 9513 garments are thrown into British landfill every five minutes. Americans dump an estimated  10 million tonnes every year.

Flogging apparel as a single-use, disposable commodity is a dark idea. Here's hoping these machines don't catch on.