Fast Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth

There is one sector of fashion that is extremely popular amongst young people and that is fast fashion. Fast fashion means that the rate of production, the delivery, the time worn, and the changes of clothes are all fast. And not only fast, but cheap. So cheap, that young people (who do not make a ton of money) often choose to buy fast fashion instead of slow fashion. And the fact that a lot of people buy fast fashion is bad, not only for humans, but also for the earth.

The price of the clothes may be very cheap, but with that comes a heavy environmental price. Each year fast fashion requires a large amount of water. That amount is enough to hydrate five million people and is to blame for 20% of the « industrial water pollution ». The sector is also responsible for 10% of the carbon emissions in the world, and that percentage is only increasing. An extensive amount of carbon emissions leads to global warming, which leads to climate change.

Besides that, this clothing industry also causes a lot of textile waste. The number of fabrics produced per person has increased by 7.1 kg from 1975 to 2018. But why is there so much waste of textiles? When it comes to cheap clothing, the quality is not always great. This makes the piece of clothing only wearable for a few weeks, which makes people tend to throw it away and go directly online in search of a new item to buy. Then what happens to the clothing that is thrown away? It gets burnt or goes to a landfill site (a site for the disposal of garbage).

Those landfill sites produce leachate, which is a toxic liquid that can threaten both surface and ground water, contaminating water supplies and the local environment. If there are a bunch of those landfill sites, people in those areas might not have water and the environment there is threatened, which makes fast fashion a big problem for people and for earth.

Some brands have come up with campaigns or ways to make their clothing more sustainable for the earth. To help the earth a bit, you could check out a few brands, such as:

  • Patagonia
  • Levi’s
  • Ninety percent
  • Zara (who is becoming more sustainable with their campaign “join life”)

Josephine Brassey (S3 Nla) / EE Luxembourg 1

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