The Harmful Effects of Fast Fashion and the Environment: Why Is Fast Fashion Bad?
Fast fashion has long been a part of our lives, it’s the brands of clothing items that many rely on throughout the world. However, as climate change and global warming have bought to our attention ahead of the recent events seen within the globe its catastrophic effects have begun to surface too. But is fast fashion really that bad? The truth is that not only is it bad, but it is one of the worst contributing elements, producing toxic waste and pollution on a rapidly increasing scale.
In this article, I’m going to be explaining the answer to the dying question “why is fast fashion bad?” As well as showing you the fast fashion’s environmental impacts and how and why we need to introduce change within the industry.
The Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion
The entire fashion industry’s environmental impact is on a scale of its own, causing many many issues from the start of the manufacturing process all the way until it is bought and consumed by a customer. Some fast-fashion environmental impact examples include:
A whopping 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the fast fashion industry itself, this is due to the mass scale of manufacturing, transporting, packaging and materials.
Another fact about fast fashion and the environment is that the industry uses about 1.5 trillion gallons of water every single year and with growing demand, this is only bound to get worse.
Polyester is a cheap and extremely popular textile that is found in almost all fast fashion items but is severely bad for the environment.
The lovely bright, bold and beautiful colors we buy our clothes in are made by using toxins and chemicals that eventually end up polluting our rivers and oceans.
Fast Fashion Environmental Impacts Statistics – Fashion Waste
By far one of the most destructive impacts of fast fashion is the clothing waste statistics. Textile waste accounts for the billions and billions of microfibers and excess materials and tools that are thrown away every second due to the nature of the fast fashion industry. This clothing waste eventually lands up polluting our land, water sources, and our atmosphere. Some interesting clothing waste facts relating to fast fashion pollution include:
- More than 84 percent of clothing ends up in our landfills
- It can take up to 200 years for toxic waste clothing to decompose
- 95 percent of textiles can be recycled but are not
- The UK is the fourth-largest contributor of waste products from textiles
Solutions for the Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion
As the result of the overproduction of clothing and the fast fashion industry meeting the demands of communities in the world, there is only one thing we can do if we want to save our planet from the devastating effects the industry is already having on it. Waste clothing recycling, zero waste clothing brands, and slow fashion brands are the only ways forward. Some ways on how to reduce the impact of clothing waste include :
What to Do with Clothing Waste
There are many things that can be done with clothing waste apart from throwing them into our rubbish bins and landfills if you have clothing you no longer use or that is destroyed in any way you could :
- Upcycle the fabric into something new
- Donate to charity shops and organizations
- Ask your local council about the textile collection
- Pass on to a younger family member or friend
- Trade your clothes for cash on one of the multiple platforms now available to us
Zero Waste Sustainable Clothing Brands
Zer waste sustainable clothing brands use eco-friendly materials and processes to produce clothing that is environmentally friendly and better for your carbon footprint. Purchasing from such brands will not only help the environment but ensure that you have the best quality too.
What is slow fashion? As per its name, slow fashion brands produce clothing in the opposite way to what fast fashion does. It advocates for buying better, longer-lasting clothing brands so that one only needs a smaller amount than what the typical outcome from shopping at fast-fashion retail would be. With an aim to reduce consumption and production waste slow fashion is the way forward.
From this, we can not only see how damaging the fast fashion community is to our environment and our overall quality of life but also how we can act and aim to reduce this effect by simply making a few adaptations to the way we shop.
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