Fast fashion is just the latest phenomenon in the industry to seriously harm workers, animals and the environment. Here are some good reasons to avoid them while you can.
In the year The 1800s saw a decline in fashion. You have to collect your own items made of leather or wool, prepare them, edit the materials and then create clothes. New technology was introduced during the Industrial Revolution, like the sewing machine. Making clothes became faster, easier and less expensive. A number of clothing businesses sprang up to serve the middle classes.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there was still a distinction between high fashion and high street when young people created new trends and used clothing as a form of self-expression. Low-cost fashion reached its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Fast fashion businesses and brands like Zara have taken over the high street with increasing online shopping.
Fast fashion is known for its low cost and quick response to customer demand by stealing trendy clothes from the catwalk or celebrities’ designs and putting them on the runway.
The phrase “fast fashion” has gained popularity in discussions about fashion, sustainability and environmental awareness. To capitalize on current trends, the phrase is used to describe “items created at low cost and quickly passed through stores that replicate the latest catwalks and current styles.”
The fast fashion model involves rapid design, production, distribution and marketing of clothing. As a result, shops are able to offer a wide range of products, which allows customers to find more fashion and product diversity at a lower price. The price of clothes is decreasing. Due to the cheap materials and dyes used, their quality decreases as their prices decrease. Prices are decreasing, but fashion trends are increasing.
Fast fashion has revolutionized how individuals shop and dispose of items that are affordable, widely accessible and trendy. Fast fashion has become a popular business model for offering large quantities of clothing at low prices, which has increased the consumption of clothing. The latest fashions are now accessible to all classes of consumers, which is often referred to as “average” fashion.
But the risks posed by cheap clothes to human and environmental health are hidden throughout the lifetime of each garment. The environmental and social costs associated with the textile industry are high, from the water-intensive cotton growing process that spills untreated dyes into nearby water sources to low wages and poor working conditions for the workforce.
The impact on the ecosystem
A large amount of textile waste is produced due to the speed at which clothing is produced and the amount of clothing that consumers throw away. Statistics show that in Australia alone, more than 500 million kilograms of unwanted clothing is thrown into landfills. Although fast fashion allows consumers to buy more clothes for less money, the environmental health risks for people who work or live in textile factories are proportionately worse. Currently, millions of textile wastes are being dumped in landfills and other unregulated areas due to increased consumption habits.
Untreated hazardous waste water is a byproduct of textile industries in countries that produce a lot of fast fashion goods. Why is it defective? Lead, mercury and arsenic are three chemicals found in this textile waste that are particularly dangerous to aquatic and terrestrial life. Direct discharge of waste water into rivers occurs in garment companies/factories.
We need healthy soil and healthy trees to grow food on Earth. Both absorb CO2 and are important for reducing global warming. Another issue is that the fast fashion industry is damaging the soil, forests and our overall ecosystem. The pastures are full of woolly sheep and goats. Overgrazing leads to hunger, food shortages, loss of plant species, soil erosion and other environmental problems. The soil is also degraded by the chemicals used to produce textiles such as cotton.
The effect of fast fashion is further enhanced by cheap textiles. One of the most commonly used fabrics is polyester. It comes from fossil fuels, contributes to global warming, and when cleaned, releases microscopic fibers that increase the amount of plastic in our oceans. The balance required by fast fashion, however, poses problems even for “natural” fibers. Growing conventional cotton in underdeveloped countries requires pesticides and a lot of water. This increases the likelihood of drought, puts greater pressure on watersheds, and fuels competition for resources between businesses and local populations.
Demand for affordable clothing has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, and as a result, environmental and social conditions have been degraded across all links in the supply chain. Scientific literature, studies and discussions around environmental justice are largely silent on the impact of fast fashion on the environment and human health. Fast fashion should be classified as a global environmental justice issue due to the scope and depth of its social and environmental violations.