A few decades ago buying clothes was not done as often as it is done today. Fast Fashion is the reason.
Earlier, clothes were expensive and were purchased occasionally and mostly when we outgrew the old ones.
But, fast fashion has made a tremendous change in the purchase frequency of clothes.
What is Fast Fashion?
From the above, you can say, fast fashion brings you the trendy clothes straight away from the catwalk at cheap to affordable rates.
But, the quality of fast fashion clothing is not even close to that of the catwalk clothes.
The only reason people prefer fast fashion clothes because the style is in trend and they can afford it.
These clothes may wear out even before the trend changes. You can use fast fashion clothing just a couple of times or so.
The other negative point about fast fashion is the environmental impact of its production.
Why is Fast Fashion Bad For The Environment?
“The fashion industry produces 20 percent of global wastewater and 10 percent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally and it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans.
Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Washing clothes also releases half a million tonnes of microfibres into the ocean every year.” Says the UN environment programme on why is fast fashion bad for the environment.
“Not only the fast fashion brands but also we as consumers are at fault. Fast fashion brands are supplying rapidly because the demands are high.”
We want trending styles at affordable rates without considering the cost of the environment.
A study says that currently an average person has started purchasing clothes 60% more than they did in 2000. More than 85% of the textile produced in a year gets dumped.
It takes about 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt. That’s enough water for one person to drink at least eight cups per day for three-and-a-half years.
To produce a pair of jeans, about 2,000 gallons of water is used. That’s more than enough for one person to drink eight cups per day for 10 years.
(and you ask why is fast fashion bad for the environment?)
Both of these are made from cotton, that requires a lot of water to make and pesticides to grow. Hence it is harmful for both land and water deposits of the cotton producing areas. .
15 Points on Why is Fast Fashion Bad For The Environment? (If You Are Still Not Convinced.)
- Washing clothes releases microfibers into the ocean annually that is the equivalent to fifty billion plastic bottles.
- Many of these fibers are polyester(a plastic found in an estimated 60% of clothes).Producing polyester releases three times more carbon emissions than cotton, and polyester doesn’t break down within the ocean.
- A 2017 report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated that 35% of all microplastics (very small pieces of plastic that never biodegrade) within the ocean came from the laundering of synthetic textiles like polyester.
- Overall, microplastics are estimated to compose up to 31% of plastic pollution within the ocean.
- The fast fashion industry is also responsible for 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions. (That’s more emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.)
- The fashion industry is additionally the second-largest consumer of water worldwide.
- Textile dyeing is that the world’s second-largest polluter of water, since the water leftover from the dyeing process is usually dumped into ditches, streams, or rivers.
- All in all, the fast fashion and style industry is liable for 20% of all industrial pollution worldwide.
How To Recognize a Fast Fashion Brand?
You can recognize a fast fashion brand by noticing a few things like;
- Thousands of designs, touching on all the newest trends.
- Extremely short turnaround between when a trend or garment is seen on the catwalk, or in celebrity media, and when it hits the shelves.
- Offshore manufacturing where labour is the cheapest, with the use of workers on low wages without adequate rights or safety, as well as complex supply chains with poor visibility beyond the first tier and of subcontracting.
- Limited quantity of a specific garment. With new stock arriving every few days, shoppers know if they don’t buy something they like they’ll probably miss their chance.
- Cheap, low in quality materials, and clothes degrade after just a couple of wears and have to be thrown away.
This was about the fast fashion industry and of course about why is fast fashion bad for the environment.
I hope this was an eye opener for you and you are smart enough to think what you can do for it.
All of us are doing something or the other for the environment and we should but there are a few things we never think of and Fashion harming the environment is one of them.