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IS FAST FASHION REALLY HARMING THE ENVIRONMENT?
“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone, somewhere is paying.”
What is Fast Fashion?‘Fast Fashion’ as the term implies, refers to the apparel industry wherein the products move from the designer sketchpad to the stores within a jiffy. Every aspect is fast in this model - design, production, distribution, and marketing. The goal is to re-create catwalk trends and high-fashion designs quickly and to offer a greater variety of products at a lower price. This model is primarily based on making huge profits by luring customers into purchasing the latest trendy clothes at affordable prices. The fast fashion industry has certainly provided a wide variety of products for customers to choose from. It has given the consumers a chance to experiment with new trends, opt for different seasonal styles, and revamp their wardrobe at a pocket-friendly price; however, it has also triggered a wide range of environmental issues that are globally concerning.
Let’s have a look at 5 reasons why ‘fast fashion’ is a concern for the environment?
1. Threat to WaterFast fashion industry uses massive amounts of water to keep up with the mass production of clothes and accessories. Moreover, chemicals used in textile dyeing render the sources of water contaminated.
2. Global Carbon EmissionFast fashion contributes a whopping 10% of the total carbon emissions, and the figure will skyrocket to about 60% by 2030. This is concerning for a single manufacturing industry.
3. High Energy ConsumptionThe process of producing textile is energy-intensive the process leads to the depletion of non-renewable energy resources like petroleum at an alarming rate. Moreover, pesticides used for cotton cultivation negatively impact the ecosystem.
4. Waste GenerationThe fast fashion industry promotes quick, seasonal, and trend-based clothing because of which almost 85% of the textiles end up in landfills, generating a mammoth amount of waste.
5. MicroplasticsFast fashion brands use fibers like polyesters, nylon, and acrylic that take hundreds of years to decompose naturally. 35% of all the microplastics in the oceans come from the laundering processes of the textile industry. It is, therefore, fairly simple to decipher that how ‘fast fashion’ is an increasing global concern. We are not opposed to evolving fashion trends or providing consumers with additional choices, but we need to be conscious of our consumption habits and opt for a more sustainable approach
The wet processing of textile materials consumes a large amount of electricity, fuel, and water. Therefore, greenhouse gas emissions and contaminated effluent are environmental problems. Most of the governments in the world warn all the industrial sectors containing textile manufacturing to be careful about environmental pollution. Increasing public awareness of the environment and the competitive global market forces the textile industry to manufacture textile products environmentally.
“Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear.”
—Elizabeth L. Cline, author of ‘Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.‘