Is Fast Fashion killing the planet?

Is Fast Fashion killing the planet?

#BOYCOTTFASHION is now trending thanks to Extinction Rebellion who are urging people to stop buying clothes for a year to send a heavy message to Gove

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#BOYCOTTFASHION is now trending thanks to Extinction Rebellion who are urging people to stop buying clothes for a year to send a heavy message to Governments and the Fashion Industry. Their message is clear, globally we produce up to 100 billion pieces of clothing a year, but there is already an abundance of clothing and textiles which can be upcycled or repaired and that swapping, renting or buying second hand will be more than sufficient.

The statistics of the Fast Fashion industries impact on the environment are worrying, Forbes accounted for 10% of the total carbon footprint of the world to the fashion industry. 20% of industrial water pollution is from textile development and a UN report found that the chemically infused water is released into local rivers, 90% of which is used by locals daily. And factories are responsible for 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Synthetic fibres such as polyester, are non-biodegradable, and used in 72% of modern clothing.

Toxic chemical water pollution and excessive consumption in manufacturing,  microfibres in the ocean harming the food chain, landfills full of 300’000 tonnes of unwanted clothes annually. Are your cheap clothes habits costing the earth?

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion is the quick production of inexpensive clothing to meet new trends or demand for certain styles in a fast turnaround. Spanish company Zara can get new designs into their 1670 worldwide stores in 10-15 days. This would also apply to best-selling styles that still in demand. The fast fashion industry accounts for over 80 billion garments being sold annually to satisfy the demand for a new outfit.

These articles of clothing are not produced to last a long time but instead intended to be made as cheaply as possible with the value being passed onto the consumer to encourage the purchase. Marketing is aimed at the affordability of the product, and the need for a weekend outfit. Social influencers push and set new styles and trends. The sales focus is on the new seasons rather than making sustainable styles to last. While this is understandable for one-off events like say a specific style of underwear to go underneath your wedding dress, clothing should not be bought with the intention for single use.

Is the Fashion Industry sustainable?

The big fashion brands are taking notice of the demand for sustainable clothing. There are steps in the right direction for H&M, Zara, but is it more to do with the impact of sales rather than a need to make the industry sustainable? There has been a growing trend in customers purchasing sales items at discounted prices, with Zara announcing disappointment in sales results in 2019. Certainly, there has been a trend shift with clothing donations to charities increasing 2.3% annually.  Due to falling profits, the fast fashion store Urban Celebrity announced it was closing down.