The Environmental Impact of The Fast Fashion Industry
The clothing and textile industry accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, and only second to oil is the largest polluter in the world. The rate that we are producing, consuming and discarding clothing has already had a monumental environmental impact, and if action isn’t taken, one-quarter of our total impact on climate change will be due to clothing consumption alone by 2050. The essence of fast fashion is to make clothes cheaply and quickly, to get new trends and styles into stores and online as soon as possible, and it comes at a high social and environmental cost. Keeping production costs low means they can make their garments cheap and advertising campaigns big, using cheap labour in unsafe working conditions, and in countries with bad environmental regulations so that they also avoid repercussions.
Throw away culture is deeply rooted in our society, three in five of our clothing pieces end up in landfills or incinerators within a year. Fast fashion brands keep the consumer hungry and feeling like they need more by tempting them with newness and convincing you that you need what they’re selling. This only results in increasing textile waste as people will not even donate or recycle the clothing they no longer want but throw it away, a staggering three-quarters of Britons throw their unwanted clothes into landfills.
Criticisms of the fast fashion industry include its negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture. Fast fashion companies rely on their products being made cheaply and quickly, and so cut corners when it comes to being conscious of their impact on the environment. Greenpeace’s recent Detox campaign revealed that many brands use toxic and hazardous chemicals in their supply chains, many of these chemicals are either banned or strictly regulated in lots of countries as they are toxic, bioaccumulative, disruptive to hormones and carcinogenic.
Growing cotton on a global scale requires lots of water, in countries already at risk of drought, and pesticides to avert crop failure. Some of the chemicals used in cotton agriculture are highly toxic and can have a devastating impact on livestock and humans, in one case, awful birth defects in Indian cotton farmers’ children. Although there is an increasing interest in organic and sustainable cotton, its use accounts for less than one percent of the entire world’s cotton crop, not nearly enough considering the cotton industry’s destructive nature.
In conclusion, the fast fashion industry has a detrimental effect on our environment through their unecological and unethical practices and only continues to perpetuate the problem through extreme consumerist culture. In order for change to happen, the masses need to open their eyes and stop the cycle. However, for significant change to happen, it’s, unfortunately, the companies that need to change their ways when it comes to their production lines, manufacturing, and their sell, sell, sell philosophy, which is unlikely to happen unless the consumer makes them.
Fashion has become incredibly fast-paced. The ability to mass-produce numerous articles of clothing and make them available and affordable to the general populace has increased consumerist tendencies across the globe. Changing clothes every season has become the norm for upper and middle-class customers. As such, the most successful fashion retailers need to be capable of adjusting their selection of goods according to the ever-changing preferences of potential customers, as well as the newest developments in the industry. The ability to...
In order to meet the hectic demands of textiles to keep up with the modern trends in the fast fashion industry, rural countries in the developing world are suffering the most strain both socially and economically. Specifically, third world countries that are part of the lower economic spectrum of the globe are targeted to manufacture and produce garments due to the access of abundance of workers with little pay provided. In the peer reviewed article, ‘Pulse of the Fashion Industry’,...
Fast fashion is a term used to describe inexpensive clothing produced rapidly in response to new trends. With exponentially increasing demand by consumer-driven production of cheap clothing, such prices are kept low through outsourcing manufacturing in low-income countries. Unsustainable garments are produced in a complicated process that requires an inordinate amount of resources. Due to the poor quality of mass-produced clothing, consumers are likely to wear the attire just a few times before throwing it away, and various facets in...
It should already be a red flag that there is a well-known term in the fashion/consumer industry called “fast fashion”. Similar to the concepts found in the fast food industry (and literally McDonald’s), fast fashion is there to keep up with the demand of American consumers and their ever changing tastes. As for efficiency, defined as “the minimization of time as the optimal method for accomplishing a task”, in fast fashion, many of the clothing articles and accessories are being...
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In today’s day and age, websites are brimming with online catalogs. Stores like Forever 21, Zara and even H&M are all affordable places where people can get fashionable and trendy clothing at a low cost. This low cost, up to date, clothing is made possible by fast fashion. Fast fashion is a term used to describe affordable clothing produced rapidly in response to the newest trends. Although it may be argued that fast fashion is necessary for developing countries to...
Fast fashion is producing super fast clothes at low prices and cheap fabrics and People are always looking for new fashion and the latest trends, but have these people thought about how to make these things and how to get rid of them that can destroy the environment around us and it can cause a lot of harm to animals and humans?. We live in a world of fast fashion at the lowest cost and quality of cheap fabrics used...
This essay will explain the concept of fast fashion and its detrimental impact on economic and social wellbeing; focusing on its role in clean water and sanitation, as outlined under SDG 6 of the UN international conference of 2008. The term fast fashion is one that has, “an approach to design, creation and marketing of clothing that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply…”  In relation to the topic of responsible consumption and production, it is the impact of...
The True Cost documentary which is filmed and directed by Andrew Morgan is concentrated on fast fashion. This documentary reflects on numerous aspects of the apparel industry from production, the life of a low wage worker, and the global effect of cheap clothing’s. These workers are forced to work in poor condition for the satisfaction of the international fashion. The True Cost is not about the glamour, and excitement of the fashion world but instead, it demonstrations the dark and...
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