The fast fashion industry is huge. It’s worth an estimated $223 billion and growing. Fast fashion is characterized by short lead times and frequent new arrivals. This allows retailers to constantly update their inventory with the latest trends. The fast fashion industry has a negative environmental impact. It contributes significantly to textile waste and water pollution. Here are the 7 things you didn’t know about fast fashion.
1. Fast fashion is bad for the environment.
The textile industry is one of the world’s most polluting, and fast fashion is only making things worse. The constant demand for new clothes leads to a lot of waste, as well as toxic dyes and pollutants being released into the air and water.
2. Fast fashion exploits workers.
Fast fashion brands often rely on sweatshops in developing countries, where workers are paid very low wages and are subjected to poor working conditions. Many of these factories have been found to use child labor.
3. Fast fashion encourages overconsumption.
The whole point of fast fashion is to get people to buy more clothes more often. This not only creates mountains of waste, but it also creates a mindset in which you always feel like you need to buy new clothes.
4. Fast fashion isn’t cheap; we pay the price later on.
Although fast fashion is marketed as being inexpensive and of high quality, this isn’t really true. Most fast fashion items are cheaply made, meaning that they won’t last very long before needing to be replaced again. And when you add in the cost of shipping for these mass-produced items, along with things like dry cleaning bills, stains from wearing the item once or twice, health problems from exposure to toxic chemicals used in manufacturing… well it turns out fast fashion is actually quite expensive in the long run!
5. The way we consume fashion is destroying the planet.
If you love fashion, don’t despair! But it’s time to make some serious changes. Luckily there are plenty of ways to enjoy fashion without destroying the planet. The most important thing is to avoid fast fashion brands for now, as they are the biggest contributors to the problem. They are designed purely for profit with no regard for how their production impacts our environment or people involved in manufacturing cheap clothes. Buying secondhand also helps reduce landfill waste and supports local non-profit thrift stores that serve those in need. If something needs dry cleaning before you even wear it once, your best bet might be donating it so someone can love it right off your back!
6. A lot of “cheap” fashion is actually made of recycled materials.
There are a number of sustainable, slow fashion brands that use recycled and upcycled materials in their designs. This means the clothes are made to last, from fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo, which grow quickly and don’t require lots of water and pesticides to produce.
7. You can still be stylish without buying fast fashion.
It’s not hard to find stylish clothes that aren’t made by fast fashion brands. In fact, many sustainable fashion brands have great styles! The key is to look for well-made pieces that will last, rather than trendy items that will go out of style in a few months. Buying vintage or secondhand is also a great way to save money and reduce waste.