First of all, what is fast fashion?
Fast fashion has accelerated the traditional business model in the fashion industry, encouraging people to buy more clothes by offering low prices and increasing the number of new seasons per year. However, the growing demand fuelled by fast fashion takes a toll on the environment.
- Fast fashion impact
40 million people working at a garment factory. 4 million people working in 5000 factories only in Bangladesh producing for western brands. 85% are women, paid 3$ per day (it’s the lowest paid garment workers in the world.
- 1.2 billion tones
of carbon emmissions come from the fashion industry are realeased. It’s more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. The fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions.
- Save water
The fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply, and pollutes the oceans with microplastics. The volume of water consumed by the fashion industry today is already enough to fill 32 million Olympic-size swimming pools. Around 20 % of wastewater worldwide comes from fabric dyeing and treatment.
- 12,7 million for landfill
12,7 million tons of clothing are thrown away or incinerated each year.
- Always more
Only 20 percent of the clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis. By extending the life of your clothes to
- Save our planet
Every year a half a million tons of plastic microfibers are dumped into the ocean, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles. The danger? Microfibers cannot be extracted from the water and they can spread throughout the food chain.
- One polyester shirt has a 5.5kg carbon footprint !
The proportion of synthetic fibres, such as polyester, in our garments has doubled since 2000, rising to 60% in 2019. These fibres are produced from petrolium. One polyester shirt has a 5.5kg carbon footprint, compared to just 2.1kg for a cotton shirt.
- “Fast fashion companies design clothes that fall apart quickly. They pursue a strategy called ‘Planned obsolescence’. This means to design garments to become unfashionable, wear out, lose shape or fall to pieces easily to force consumers to keep buying new clothes.” – Be Global Fashion Network
- Discounts don’t really exist
Clothes in outlets have never been sold in a “regular” shop. Outlets make deals with designers to put designer labels on cheaply made clothes manufactured in other low-quality manufacturing factories.
- Fast fashion companies copy current fashion trends and produce them quicker than the originals and it’s completely legal.
- “More than 90% of that cotton is now genetically modified, using vast amounts of water as well as chemicals. Cotton production is now responsible for 18% of worldwide pesticide use and 25% of total insecticide use.” – The True Cost
- “A single t-shirt takes 2,700 liters of water to make. The same amount of water an average person drinks over the course of 900 days.” – Better Cotton Initiative
- In Europe, fashion companies went from an average offering of two collections per year in 2000 to five in 2011. Some brands offer even more. Zara puts out 24 collections per year, while H&M offers between 12 and 16. A lot of this clothing ends up in the dump. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second.
How to reduce your impact
- Buy Less and Buy Better (good quality clothes will last longer)
- Buy what you need, shop with an idea of what you’re looking for and ask yourself if you really need it.
- Take the 30-wear pledge, ask yourself: “Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?” and if the answer is yes, buy it !
- Watch your washing, a 6kg domestic wash has the potential to release as many as 700,000 fibres into the environment, so, think twice before you pop stuff in the laundry you’ve only worn once.
- Shop and drop for charity (Oxfam, Les Petits Riens, Dod)
- Buy vintage and second hand