Fashion is not about selling fast, but rather expressing one’s self. Yet the common practice nowadays is wash-wear-dispose—a dangerous trend that fast fashion sets.
Before you take another interesting on-trend piece of the season off the rack, it pays to know why more people are saying goodbye to fast fashion and saying hello to better fashion choices.
Climate Change Grows Ever Nearer
When people think of harmful pollution and substantial greenhouse gas emissions, it’s easy to assume that these are done by oil moguls and capitalist entrepreneurs. However, the reality is that the fashion industry contributes 8% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. If this continues, data suggests that by 2050, this industry will be responsible for 25% of the total gas emissions.
Fast fashion may be one of the reasons for this. Factories and mills that create the yarn and fabric for mass production are responsible for a huge chunk of the carbon footprint. Worse, if a major clothing company is not pushing to lower their footprint, their approach towards creating clothes cannot be called sustainable.
Sustainability in fashion is more than just using organic or recycled materials. It should also be about responsible manufacturing, one that lessens the carbon emissions in the production process—even if it means putting in more expenses to adjust certain procedures.
Fast Fashion is Women’s Enemy
While fashion is no longer just a woman’s world, a lot of the players and participants are women. Behind the scenes, fast fashion serves as a trap for women who are in poverty. According to data, 75 million people work in factories to create clothes that are meant to be worn just for the season.
Around 80% of these workers are women who are between 18 to 24 years old, most of which do not get proper compensation for the labor they put in. Apart from hard labor, the workers in the fast fashion—those who do the actual labor to make the clothes, not those who design or market them—tend to earn less than $3 a day.
Fast fashion is bent on churning out more clothes per season, and operating on more seasons or collections per year. And at what expense? Usually, it is at the expense of exploited women or communities. It also feeds on the idea of fashion equated to trends rather than style sensibilities, leading to another major problem: waste.
Goodbye Organic or Recycled Materials
It’s far easier to take virgin, raw materials and transform them into the necessary. Companies also use materials like polyester over more natural ones like cotton. This material creates almost twice or thrice as much carbon emissions during production than more natural ones.
Add to this the danger of the waste that occurs during production and after a certain wear period. A 2017 report conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature found that 35% of microplastics come from the fibers of synthetic polyester. These go to the ocean and never break down, causing further pollution and harm to the environment.
The next time you are shopping for clothes and accessories, be sure to go the responsible route and cater to sellers and marketplace hubs that follow ethical and responsible production. Check out The Etho and its sellers, who follow the sustainable standards for better fashion.