Problems of Fast Fashion

Image Source: Courtesy of  The Lovepost

As fashion fanatics, we are obsessed with ever changing fashion trends whether it be clothing or accessories. We are keen to know what’s going on around us and tend to jump into the bandwagon via curating the contemporary fashion-which is absolutely fine. The realm of the fashion industry and glitz & glam surely inspires us by all means, compelling us to be an eminent part of it. But we are unaware or should we say blinded by its beauty so much that we have forgotten the bitter truth behind its making.

The term ‘fast fashion’ has become more prominent in conversations surrounding fashion, sustainability and environmental consciousness. Consequently, we have now come to a juncture where fashion production constitutes 10% of our global carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. There is no doubt, fast fashion has made it affordable for more consumers to have the latest fashion hues in their closets, thereby promoting greater inclusivity in fashion but it comes with heavy price tag- that our mother planet has to pay every year and that will, sooner or later, bite back at us too. With unsustainability rampant in the fashion regime, designers always step their best foot forward to attract people. Fast fashion has disturbed our eco-system and ruining our natural resources with each passing day.

Many ace designers and brands launch their collection several times in a year. However, most of the clothing ends up in the dump and affecting our environment resultingly. In total, up to 85% of textiles go into landfills each year. That’s enough to fill the Sydney harbor annually. It is proven that fashion industry is the second most polluting industry regime after aviation and we are totally aghast by this silent perpetrator in which we are all surely accomplices.

Turning into global polluter, fast fashion has changed the face of earth in no time. The buying percentage of clothing has increased manifold in the past few decades. Moreover, Fast fashion makes designers and brands muddled regarding the production of clothing and other products as sometimes estimation can go wrong. Production of clothing in abundance takes a toll on the environment, risking the aggravation of the aforementioned issues.

According to recent research, textile production in industries produce greenhouse gases per unit of material. Textile production has the biggest carbon footprint and carbon emissions are at its peak during fiber extraction process. While the actual making of clothes requires synthetic polyester which is made by chemical reaction of petroleum, coal, air and water.

The resources used to create the textile also impacts the environment in one way or another. Like in China, coal is used as a power input for textile production so China produces 40 percent larger carbon footprint than in Europe. While in most of the under-developed countries, the wastewater from clothing manufacturing industries is directly dumped into rivers, polluting the water that affects marine life as well. Thus, pollution is intrinsically ingrained within the clothing production process and as long as there is demand, suppliers will see no reason to change their current habits.

Solution:

  1. Shift to slow fashion approach as it incorporates sustainable fashion and refrain from manufacturing of clothes with changing trends. Make a conscientious decision to shop from more ecofriendly brands
  2. Clothes rental, better recycling processes & pollution control technology are some of the things to be considered by designers.
  3. Designers should use cloth in such a way that none of the fabric goes unused.
  4. Campaigns should be initiated worldwide to create awareness regarding the matter so that everyone shops responsibly.

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