In the 21st century, technology and speed have taken over in most industries- including fashion. We have a plethora of styles, colors and brands with a diverse price range. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Unfortunately, the excess demand and consumerism has led to the glorification of fast fashion.
Fast fashion is a practice that occurs when companies mass producing lower-cost variants of name-brand catwalk pieces.
Because of fast fashion, the glamour industry has become responsible for high carbon emissions, water pollution, and large amounts of landfill waste. According to Fiona O’Malley, the Director of Communications at World Vision Ireland, “The fast fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year.” And that’s not all. It would take me pages to describe the full extent of damage that the fast fashion industry causes.
It’s pretty obvious that we need to get rid of such an exploitative model immediately. However, just one look at the wide profit margins and consumer demands make sure that it’s not going away unless we make a conscious decision to hold this system and the people perpetuating it accountable. It all starts with us..
Here’s what we can do to break the vicious cycle of fast fashion-
- The first thing to do is visit a brand’s about section and check the transparency of their procedures. The use of vague terms or glittery language may be masquerading something more devious.
- Google the brand, the location, sourcing, history and reputation. Research by country or product. See if you can find sourcing or production scandals or anything even remotely sketchy. Asking people who have used the brand in the past may help.
- If you feel that certain products are being falsely advertised as eco-friendly, then you can check for certification symbols in online shops or check the symbols on their eco latex. For example: GOTS or FAIR TRADE.
- Do your own research on sustainable fashion and greenwashing through reliable sources then see if the numbers add up. Try to reach the brands personally through their social media or contact details.
- All of us can play a major role in helping the planet by shopping from thrift stores and supporting local small businesses whose products are sourced and produced ethically. And these clothes can be recycled or sold for a tidy sum.
As human beings living in the age of information and resources, we really have no excuse for propping up fast fashion. Shopping sustainably is the least we can all do to be informed consumers and responsible inhabitants of the planet. It’s time to participate in fair fashion instead of fast fashion.
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