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5 Reasons to Ditch Fast Fashion

Posted on 24 February 2020

If you’re like us, you love the feeling of finding that perfect outfit. Fashion allows us to express our personal style and feel confident, whether it’s a pair of jeans that fit just right or a cozy sweater that gets you through the winter. The problem is, fast fashion is taking over the clothing industry, where clothes are rapidly mass-produced and sold at a cheap price. 


When you’re on a budget, it can be hard to resist deals from these big clothing brands, but it’s important to understand the true cost of fast fashion so that you can make an informed decision about what you buy. 


That’s why we compiled this list of 5 reasons to ditch fast fashion:

 

1.  Water Consumption 

 

Image Source: http://thelakesideledger.com/did-you-know-water-consumption/

Water is arguably Earth’s most precious resource, and the fashion industry is the
2nd largest consumer of water worldwide.


  • Materials like cotton need huge amounts of water to produce. In Uzbekistan, cotton farming used up so much water from the Aral Sea that it dried up after ~50 yearsThe Aral Sea was once one of the world's four largest lakes, but now it’s just a desert and a few small ponds. 

 

2. Pollution

 


Image Source: http://seedinsights.com/index.php/the-hidden-costs-of-fast-fashion/


The fashion industry is also responsible for
20% of all industrial water pollution.


Pollution is caused by:


  • Washing Clothes —  Washing materials like polyester releases “500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year — the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.” (Business Insider)

  • Dyeing Textiles Water leftover from the dyeing process is often dumped into ditches, streams, and rivers, making it the world's second-largest polluter of water. 


3.  Waste 

 


Image Source: https://sustainability.uq.edu.au/projects/recycling-and-waste-minimisation/fast-fashion-quick-cause-environmental-havoc

Fast fashion is all about planned obsolescence. This means that the fashion industry purposely uses cheap materials that don’t last. For the consumer, this means you might be getting clothes at a good deal, but soon they will break and you’ll end up having to throw them away. 


85% of all textiles end up in the trash each year, with the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes burned or dumped in a landfill every second. Rather than supporting this huge amount of waste, why not invest in durable materials that you won’t have to replace? 

 


4. Carbon Footprint

 


Image Source: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/explore/fashion-and-the-circular-economy


A huge reason to ditch fast fashion is its environmental impact. 

  • The global fashion industry emits 1.7 billion tons of CO2 per year
  • While countries are doing everything they can to reduce carbon emissions and slow down climate change, the fashion industry’s carbon footprint is only going up. Scientists predict that emissions will increase by over  60% by 2030.

 

5.  Exploitation 

 


 Image Source: https://feminisminindia.com/2018/08/24/dark-side-fast-fashion/

Fast fashion relies on cheap labor with poor working conditions, with the industry producing 97% of clothes overseas.

  • 40 million people work in the garment industry, including children. These people aren’t protected by western regulations, which the fast fashion industry takes advantage of. Poor conditions include mental and physical abuse, hazardous substances, and unsafe production processes.

There’s Still Hope

This information can be scary and overwhelming, but that’s exactly why we collectively need to demand change. As consumers we get to vote with our dollar, so rather than buying clothes that are cheaply made, support businesses that utilize earth-friendly materials that are built to last. 

Fast fashion is just one means of production, and the eco-fashion movement is popping up everywhere. When consumers decide to ditch fast fashion, businesses will follow!

Sources:  

 https://www.businessinsider.com/fast-fashion-environmental-impact-pollution-emissions-waste-water-2019-10

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/A-New-Textiles-Economy_Summary-of-Findings_Updated_1-12-17.pdf

https://7billionfor7seas.com/fast-fashion-facts/

https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2019/12/03/fast-fashion-devastates-environment

https://www.gq.com/story/5-counterpoints-to-5-truths-fast-fashion-doesnt-want-you-to-know

 

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