On a daily basis, people aim to have “looks to die for” or a “fashion sense that kills”- usually unaware that some types of fashion do just that. Regarding fast fashion, these pieces of clothing are literally killing the planet. The amount of clothes factories are pumping out and the amount of waste that goes into these different processes, is unnatural for the planet. Earth cannot sustain this level of production.
The process of fast fashion production is terrible for the planet, as a result of the waste accumulation, and the disposal of the clothing after it has lived it’s short life also has great consequences.
To begin with the process of producing fast fashion, factories produce 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide– which is even more than the emissions from air travel and international shipping. Compare the rapid speed with which trends change, and the need for companies to keep up with these trends, by producing more and more clothing, and the factories, therefore releasing more and more toxins into the air. Making a pair of jeans releases more greenhouse gases than driving a car for 80 miles. Remind yourself that while car companies release a large portion of the overall greenhouse gas emissions, fast fashion companies release even more. One tshirt requires 2,700 liters of water. This is equivalent to 1,350 days of drinking water for one person. In addition to clothing production wasting many natural resources, 30% of the substances used in clothing production have been proven to pose a serious health risk to people. The toxins that are released during the process are infectious to the atmosphere, and have near-immediate results on factory workers.
Regarding the disposal of clothing that fall under the fast fashion label, it is also important to remember that over time, people have begun to purchase even more clothing and wear them for a shorter amount of time. One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second. The average consumer bought 60 percent more clothes in 2014 than in 2000, but kept each garment for half as long. The world as a whole consumes 80 billion items of clothing yearly, and whether the clothing is used or unused, it’s disposal process will still be toxic for the environment.
Burning clothing releases catastrophic amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Increased CO2 gasses leads to the greenhouse effect, which is when the excessive amounts of CO2 create a blanket beneath the Earth’s atmosphere, and trap in all the heat from the sun’s energy. This interrupts climate patterns and causes an overall global warming, which would only create more problems. As global temperatures rise, ice caps in colder areas begin melting, increasing sea levels and reducing the territory for creatures who thrive in extreme cold temperatures. Sea levels will continue to rise, and any coastal cities will be underwater within the next 50 years.
Using fast fashion begins a chain reaction. The large amount of clothes that are constantly being produced only causes harm to the planet and those living in it. Fast fashion is short-lived, which is why new clothing is produced rapidly and disposed of too soon. The bad quality of the clothing allows it to only sustain a few wears, and the trends that keep changing make buyers want to buy more frequently. By removing yourself from purchasing from this industry, you will not only be saving your own money, but you will (in the long run) be saving the world.
Spread awareness, promote eco-friendly fashion brands and think of the bigger picture. Play the long game.
Shop Ethical and Sustainable Brands: https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing