“There is a new sheriff in town”, Forbes quoted “Fast fashion has completely disrupted apparel retail”. It is also effecting our environment. Another pot of mess we will have to deal with.
The fundamental business model of fast fashion is relatively basic – selling cheap goods at high volume, in rapid cycles at any time period. This is achieved by promoting fashion consumption as fast, cheap & disposable to shape consumer behavior to shop more & shop often. At the same time, by taking advantage of cheap wages and material prices in developing countries, production costs are drastically reduced. The end results of such business models are the over consumption & exploitation of human rights. Fast fashion is a profit making machine, but its social & environmental impact is extremely harmful.
- 85% of cloth & textile waste ends up in landfills, only 15% is recycled or donated
- New York residents alone generate 200,000 tons of fashion related waste each year
- Textile dye makes up 1/5 of industrial water pollution in the world
- The apparel industry makes an estimated 10% of global carbon foot print
- Consumers in EU dispose about 5.8 million tons of textile each year that end up in landfills
- Drastic increase of effluent release into our water stream, which includes dye or caustic solutions
Fast fashion is not the only one to be blamed for; the FASHION industry as a whole needs a change. As a matter of fact, the industrial landscape needs a change. Responsible design and production is much needed in order to avoid further damages to our environment and society. Corporations and companies can no longer pass those responsibilities on to us. For example, in 1953, when the soda companies pushed a recycling obligation onto the consumers because the distribution of sodas in disposable bottles were much cheaper than in reusable ones. It is our responsibility as consumers to express our demand for a healthier life in a healthy environment.