What is Fast Fashion & Why It’s a Growing Issue

Ditch the fast fashion sugar rush for a sustainable fashion steady relationship, and never worry about the fashion police showing up at your door again.

Fast fashion, the industry that promises to give us the latest trends at lightning speed, but at what cost? The truth is, this race to the bottom is leaving a huge environmental and social footprint. From the exploitation of workers to the overflowing landfills, it’s time to take a hard look at the true cost of our “cheap chic” addiction. But don’t despair, all hope is not lost! By making a few conscious choices, we can all play a role in creating a more sustainable fashion future. So, let’s break it down, and talk about why fast fashion is a problem and what we can do to make a difference. Get ready to look fabulous and feel good about it!

What Is Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion, it’s the bane of the sustainable fashion movement, and for good reason. It’s the practice of churning out cheap, trendy clothing at a breakneck speed, often at the expense of the planet and the people who make our clothes. It’s the equivalent of a fast food diet for fashion, it might be cheap and convenient, but it’s not good for us in the long run.

Fast Fashion Statistics

And yes, that’s true, but why this is a horrific statistic is because even though clothing sales doubled, average number of times a piece of clothing is worn has been on a steady decline. Meaning, people generally buy more clothes, but wear them a smaller number of times (more variety, less longevity).

Now, we aren’t here to bash on anyone! Everyone wants to have a unique wardrobe with a lot of outfits. The real blame here is the fast fashion industry.

Anyways, here are the statistics in a more presentable manner:

  • On top of that, fast fashion has generated more CO2 than aviation and shipping combined;
  • At least $500 billion are lost almost every year due to lack of clothing utilization and recycling;
  • At least 20% of the global waste water is from the fashion industry (textile dyeing);
  • At least 92 million tons in clothes-related waste;
  • You can find more statistics at www.Earth.org/fast-fashion-statistics/

Why Is It a Growing Issue?

Production & Waste

The effects of fast fashion are far-reaching and devastating. As I said above, it’s a major contributor to textile waste, with clothes being worn a few times and then discarded, ending up in landfills where they can take hundreds of years to decompose.

The production process of fast fashion is also incredibly polluting, with the use of synthetic fibers and toxic dyes and chemicals.

Ethics

The human cost of fast fashion is also staggering. Many fast fashion clothes are produced in developing countries, where labor laws and workers’ rights are often lax, leading to poor working conditions, low wages, and even forced labor. This is a far cry from the glamorous image that the fashion industry often projects.

Yes, to make any profit on those small and often times shockingly so price tags, fast fashion brands have to cut costs any way they can.

This ultimately means more production cost cuts, hence why companies prefer off-shore production.

Is There Any Solution to This Mess?

But, as with most problems, the solution lies in taking a step back, and taking a more holistic approach. Supporting sustainable fashion brands is one of the most effective ways to make a difference. These brands prioritize ethical and sustainable production methods, such as using natural fibers, implementing fair labor practices, and minimizing waste. Most of them don’t have off-shore production, which means they have to abide by strict laws for working conditions and wages.

Another way to make a difference is by buying second-hand clothing. Not only does this keep clothes out of landfills, but it also helps to reduce the demand for new clothing, which in turn helps to slow down the fast fashion cycle.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, fast fashion is a problem, a big one. But it’s not one that we can’t solve. It all starts on an individual level. Individuals have to be incentivized to make conscious fashion choices, support sustainable fashion brands, and say NO to fast fashion. Let’s make a difference, one wardrobe at a time.

And remember, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – Coco Chanel


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