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Fast Fashion And Climate

Fast fashion

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is a term used to describe the current state of the fashion industry, where trends are produced and consumed at a rapid pace. In the past, there were four collections per year, each with around 100 pieces. Back-to-school shopping was the main time to buy clothes for the year, usually consisting of one or two outfits. However, the situation has dramatically changed today.
We now have five times more clothing in our closets compared to the 1980s. This increase is due, in part, to the rise of fast fashion brands such as H&M and Zara.
The rise of fast fashion has made it increasingly difficult to control the negative implications of our choices. With such a high volume of clothing being produced and consumed, environmental and ethical concerns are often overlooked. It is crucial to address the impact of fast fashion on the environment and seek sustainable alternatives to ensure a cleaner and more responsible future.

Why is fast fashion becoming a growing concern?

Today, even the popular clothing brands that we love source their clothes from a complex network of hundreds of suppliers around the world, particularly in the global south, who operate on razor-thin margins. The pressure to meet production targets is so high that concerns such as worker rights and environmental impacts take a back seat.

The alarming statistics reveal the true cost of our insatiable appetite for fast fashion. For instance, it takes anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans. Yet, a shocking 70 pairs of jeans are produced every second worldwide, with about 80% ending up in landfills or incinerated. Additionally, the pollution created by various dyes used in the production of fashion items is also a major problem.

Rivers in Asia and Bangladesh are now blackened to the point of being hazardous, thereby exacerbating the already deteriorating state of the environment.
It’s time to address the issue urgently and sensitively without ignoring the magnitude of the problem. We used to buy from companies that had only a few seasonal lines, and any leftover stock would be resold, but today, the situation is different. Therefore, fast fashion companies must start adopting more sustainable practices if we are to change this alarming trend.

In conclusion

The fast fashion industry’s impact on the environment and climate cannot be ignored. The rise of influencers and the introduction of new players like Shein have only fuelled the fast fashion machine, making it harder to control the negative aspects of our choices. However, awareness is key.

We must recognise the importance of sustainable fashion and actively seek alternatives that prioritise environmental and ethical practices.

It is time for the fashion industry, manufacturers, brands, and consumers alike, to come together and work towards a more sustainable and responsible future. Only by doing so can we pave the way for a fashion industry that respects our planet, its resources, and the people involved in its production.

Let us make conscious choices that shape a better, more sustainable future of fashion.

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