“Fast fashion” is an industry that produces huge quantities of poor quality clothing, depending on what the fashion trend is. This means that, between regular intervals, the clothing collections are renewed and the quantities of garments produced are increasing. It is a fact that “fast fashion” is the second most polluting industry in the world after the oil industry.
According to the UN, in fact, “fast fashion” produces 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which are responsible for climate change. Also, garment fabrics produce the most greenhouse gases per unit of material used. Indeed, the carbon dioxide emissions from the “fast fashion” industry are enormous.
Think that, month after month, year after year, instead of getting better this situation gets worse. Fashion trends are renewed and even more clothes are produced, which in essence not only pose a threat to the environment, but are also completely useless to us.
In addition, clothes during the washing process release plastic microfibers that end up in our oceans. In this way, marine life is destroyed and pollution is “having a party”. Fish eat plastic for breakfast and cloth for dinner!
The question is: How can we reverse this situation? It would be a good start not to get carried away by what is in “fashion” and to buy clothes that we really need. Beyond the environmental impacts that come to the fore, it is a pity to become over-consumers, materialists, and create imaginary needs when other people have nothing to eat.
However, when we need to buy a garment, we can buy it from family businesses, to strengthen the local market, to be sure of the production process and the material. The material from which a garment we are going to buy is made is of great concern to us, as if it is, for example, made from 100% cotton, it can be recycled.
At this point, it is good to add that the “fast fashion” industry also promotes child labor, so buying clothes from large chains is like strengthening it.
It should also be mentioned as a solution the purchase of clothes from “thrift shops”, where instead of constantly producing new clothes and burdening the environment, the existing ones circulate from hand to hand. In stores with used, forgotten clothes, anyone can find very unique pieces that no one else has.
In this way, anyone can create their own unique style, which will have nothing to envy from the clothes of the “fast fashion” industry. In addition, clothes in such stores are very economical and you can save a lot of money, which can be invested somewhere that is really worth it (such as offering a plate of food to a hungry fellow human being).
All these options, we can say that make fashion sustainable, if adopted. We must act now while we are still ahead! In a few years there will be no turning back! The “health” of our planet will have reached an irreversible point. Let us all adopt sustainable fashion, for us, for our children, for all living creatures and above all for our home, the planet earth!
With a lot of hope for the future,
Mary Vidali (high school student)
IMAGE: Jacopo M. Raule on Getty Images
COLLAGE: Bronwyn Seier for Fashion Revolution