Fashion comes and goes, with new trends constantly resurfacing its way to local brands and local highstreets. Whilst fashion is a way to express ourselves, fashion has taken a darker turn at the expense of the environment. And what we end up with is Fast Fashion.
Fast Fashion refers to cheap garments that are mass produced and inspired by trending clothing samples from catwalks to celebrities. It has a range of ethical, social and environmental issues attached with it.
Why is this an issue?
Fast Fashion has caused detrimental effects to the environment and to people around the world. It is one of the highest polluting industries in the world and its pollution is steadily increasing each year. With more and more people buying cheap clothes, more and more clothes last less which creates more rubbish that comes at an environmental cost.
In addition to the environmental damage, fast fashion sparks a lot of ethical concerns as most fast fashion products are created in sweatshops where most workers work long hours with little to no pay.
From the UN alliance for Sustainable Fashion, the clothes and textile industry today:
- Contributes $2.4 trillion to global manufacturing
- Employs 300 million people worldwide across the value chain (many of them women)
- Is responsible for an estimated 2-8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions
- Around 215 trillion litres of water per year are consumed by the industry
- Annual material loss of US $100 billion due to underutilisation
- Textiles account for approximately 9% of annual microplastic losses to the oceans
This is devastating since without changes to processes and consumption patterns, the social and environmental sectors will continue to deplete and be destroyed.
But what can we do to avoid fast fashion?
Here are FIVE tips that you can start today because there are always different alternatives to buying fast fashion:
- Support local thrift stores and highstreets!
Thrift shopping is a simple and affordable alternative to fast fashion. Here is a local guide of thrift stores in London which you can easily access.
- Buy less often and buy high quality.
We are able to create a more sustainable lifestyle if we just hold onto clothes longer. It will reduce emissions and decrease environmental impact.
- Be aware of who made your clothes.
Often the clothes we buy from fast fashion retailers are made by garment workers in developing countries under really bad conditions. Most garment workers in these factories are paid very little money and forced to work long hours. So we need to be mindful of where our clothes are coming from.
- Learn more about slow fashion.
It is important to learn more about slow fashion in order to get away from the fast fashion world. Slow fashion provides a safer and more sustainable route since it uses fewer resources which makes a smaller impact on the environment. You can find some slow fashion brands here.
- Bring your old clothes back to life!
You can do this by coming into our shop at ReFashion my Town in Chippenham and together we can redesign your clothes!
Ending fast fashion starts with you and by taking small steps and educating yourself on the effects fast fashion has on the world, you can make a difference.
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