Everyone says Fast Fashion is unsustainable, but why is it so? Let's dive into the reasons that make this business model so harmful.
What is Fast Fashion?
Fast Fashion is a term used in the retail industry to describe a type of clothing production and consumption where garments are produced rapidly and at low cost to meet demands from consumers.
The Fast Fashion industry has grown rapidly in recent years, however, this growth is often at the expense of people and the environment.
Fast Fashion Environmental Impact
The textile industry is one of the most polluting industriesin the world, and Fast Fashion brands are responsible for a large part of that pollution.
The negative effects on the ecosystem are manifold:
The fast fashion industry is responsible for a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Apparently, it generates more carbon emissions than aviation and shipping combined.
- Water Consumption
The fast fashion industry also has a massive water footprint. Consider that according to the UN Environment Programme it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans. In addition, the textile industry is responsible for around 20% of the world's industrial water pollution.
- Use of chemicals and dyes
The fast fashion industry also uses large amounts of chemicals and dyes in the production of clothing. These chemicals often end up in the environment, causing air, land, and water pollution, and harming wildlife.
Moreover, Fast Fashion apparel is typically made from synthetic materials that do not biodegrade easily and often release harmful toxins when produced and even when washed.
- Waste production
Not only does fast fashion have a huge carbon and water footprint, but it also creates a lot of textile waste. For example, in the US alone, about 85% of textiles go to landfills (or are incinerated). Once in the landfill, most of the clothes will not decay rapidly, since they are made of synthetic fibres.
Clothing is often transported long distances, from the factories where it is made to the stores where it is sold. Since most of the transportation employed is reliant on fossil fuels, it contributes to climate change and air pollution.