Image via Adobe Stock
Image via Adobe Stock
Fast fashion has a big impact on our environment, and it can kill fashion sustainability.
Fast fashion is a term not yet heard or spoken about very often, perhaps because almost all major clothing chains play some part in the greater issue. Luckily, as consumers, we can change how fast our fashion is.
Since the times of the Industrial Revolution, how clothes were manufactured and consumed has changed. However, it is not necessarily for the better.
The fashion industry has started producing clothes at an exponential rate to keep up with demand from consumers. The more consumption, the more production, and this goes for accessories as well as clothes.
This has led to the vicious cycle we know today, coined “fast fashion”.
Fast fashion is the term used to describe the mass-production of catwalk favourites and getting them into stores as quickly as possible. The manufacturers constantly try to keep up with trends, hot off the ramps.
According to thegoodtrade.com website, however, there are new trends almost each week, meaning that around about 52 new trends can hit our stores every year.
Firstly, we don’t always know where our clothes come from. Are the people who are making them working in a safe environment and are they properly paid?
Nor do we always know what kind of quality we are really buying.
Fast fashion is about doing things as quickly and as cheaply as possible. This means whatever you are buying may be low quality. It may have been made without proper checks and quality control, and sold at a bargain price.
When that same garment shrinks after the first wash, or tears after being worn a few times, you won’t think twice to discard it.
Then, of course, there is the environmental impact. It is said that the textile and clothing industry almost leaves just as great a carbon footprint as the oil industry. Millions of tons of clothing end up in landfills of refuse all over the world each year.
Mass-produced, low quality, low price clothes have toxins and dyes that can harm the environment. Many synthetic garments will most certainly never disappear or disintegrate.
Consumers can make a difference, for example, by buying more consciously. It is easy to opt for the latest catwalk item but think twice before you do so.
Ask yourself how long you will be using a garment or item. Is it something you can wear for the next three years, at least, and is it a timeless piece? Or is it just something you want to have because it is today’s trend
Do your research about where stores’ clothing comes from and how it is produced. Do they treat workers treated fairly and do they pay them as they should. Are the materials and fabrics safe and sustainable?
Donate whatever you do not want or do not wear anymore. If you have had that dress for three years in the cupboard, let it go honey. Don’t wait until you lose weight to wear it, but rather let someone else enjoy it.
It is important to support stores and brands that strive towards slow fashion. It is not easy for the industry to suddenly change, but some stores are consciously trying to change. That is something that all fashion lovers can get behind.
Otherwise our world may one day look like a version of Wall-E. That is, there may be mountains of clothing that eventually take over all the space we have.
Let us slow down, cut back on consumption and adopt a minimalistic approach to shopping. That’s how to lessen the demand for fast fashion.