Big clothing retailers like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M are
the reason why fast fashion is growing by the day. They produce cheap
and fashionable clothing which comes at the price of deteriorating
environmental health and nature’s balance.
Let us start with first explaining what Fast Fashion means in simple
terms. Fast Fashion refers to cheaply produced and priced clothing
garments that copy the latest trends and styles that get pumped quickly
through stores in order to maximize on current trends. In other words Fast
fashion is optimizing on new and popular trends which customers buy in bulk.
For example, very recently there was a new trend that popular personalities
were seen wearing that got viral- the neon clothing trend. It was so trendy that
every other fashion store started stocking up on neon style casual clothing
and were able to make profits out of this stock as people were following their
favorite popular figures. So basically, cashing on these trends by businesses
means fast fashion.
The fast fashion model is a streamlined system of spotting trends, rapid
designing of clothes in bulk, production, distribution, packaging, pricing,,
branding, selling, and marketing, which means that retailers are able to pull
smaller quantities of greater product variety and allow consumers to get more
fashion and product differentiation at a low price.
After having discussed what Fast fashion is all about, you may ask ‘Why
is fast fashion bad?’ Keep reading for the answer.
According to a verified report fashion production comprises 10% of total global
carbon emissions. This is undoubtedly a high percentage. To name a few
harmful effects of the fashion industry, it dries up water sources and pollutes
rivers and streams. Now to make the fact worse 85% of all textiles go to
dumps each year. Now that is a substantial amount of waste. This clearly
proves that almost all of it is eventually becoming part of the waste even
before it is used till its full potential. Apart from the production part of the
pollution, even washing clothes releases 500 000 tons of microfibers into the
ocean each year, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
The Quantis International 2018 report established that fiber production has the
largest impact on water diverted or withdrawn from a surface water or
groundwater source and degrading ecosystem quality due to cotton
cultivation, while the dyeing and finishing, yarn preparation and fiber
production stages have the highest impacts on resource depletion, due to the
energy-intensive processes based on fossil fuel energy.
Another report states that emissions from textile manufacturing alone are
projected to skyrocket by 60% by 2030.
Depletion of non-renewable sources, emission of greenhouse gases and the
use of massive amounts of water and energy are a few of the major
environmental impacts of fast fashion.
It is time we look at the bigger picture by making informed choices.