You may have heard the term fast fashion tossed around these days without truly knowing what it means. Even if you don’t realize it, you know it all too well. While that trendy $34.99 sequin top in the back of your closet is convenient, inexpensive, and great for that one New Year’s Eve party you went to a few years ago, you probably won’t get more than three uses out of it. Fast fashion garments are the trendy low-cost, low-quality clothes that are taking over women’s wardrobes. We all know from personal experience that these clothes do not last long, yet consumers continue to buy, buy, buy!
Although a couple of cheap shirts may seem harmless, fast fashion is damaging the earth in extreme ways. These companies are churning out millions and millions of products daily. Each step through the manufacturing of a piece of clothing requires ample water, chemicals, machinery and human labor.
To put the impacts of fast fashion into perspective, let’s take a look at water usage. World Resource Institute explains that about 20 percent of industrial water pollution is due to garment manufacturing. The world uses 1.3 trillion gallons of water each year for fabric dyeing alone, enough to fill 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. Yep you read that right! 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools filled annually… and that is just from one stage of garment production. As you can probably guess, these factories creating millions of products a day, often do not have ethical working conditions for garment workers. These factories are placing low prices above human rights, and it’s time we put an end to it!
Click here to read more about the damaging effects of the fashion industry, and what you can do to make a difference.
The fashion industry and its damaging effect don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon, with the water usage only increasing each year. As consumers of the fashion industry, we have the power (and the responsibility) to make purchasing decisions to support sustainable fashion companies and slow down fast fashion.