Fast Fashion — Low Costs For Shopaholics But Our Earth Pays The Ultimate Price
The fast way to killing the environment.
We’ve all heard of fast fashion by now, but as talks increase as to how we can save our planet in 12 years people are still failing to see fast fashion as a major culprit in our earth’s destruction.
Plastic pollution is the first issue to pop into our heads, all these PLT and Boohoo orders come in plastic packaging which is so damaging for our planet. Everybody knows this now; the media is flooded with how single-use plastic is a massive danger to our planet and many retail and supermarket shops are introducing paper bags instead of plastic ones. While 35% of plastic pollution in the ocean comes from synthetic clothing, says a report by MPs, there are other hidden aspects of the fast fashion industry that are not so blessed with media coverage.
First – online shops like Boohoo and Missguided seem like a blessing for us shopaholics, £1 bikinis and £4 dresses are the dreams. However, there is a massive price for these low costs that simply cannot be ignored any longer. In this world, we are after a quick fix and cheap prices so are prone to overlooking (or not caring) about what we consume. The textile industry, says The Guardian, produces more C02 emissions than international shipping and aviation combined. Shocked yet? The industry also consumes lake-size volumes of water not to mention the plastic and chemical waste. Garments come packaged in multiple layers of plastic and those that are unsold are incinerated which, you guessed it, pollutes our environment further.
Instagram influencers recently promoted the £1 Missguided bikini yet fail to question how it can be this price? Of course, the bikini was so popular that the site crashed, and the company will have made massive profits from this, of course otherwise they wouldn’t have priced it at £1. Companies know cheap products will sell because we want quick and cheap items that we actually tend to dispose of after only 5 weeks. How can they afford to price an item at £1? This takes us to the ethical issues of fast fashion.
Exploitative wage structures mean factory worker producing our new PLT numbers are paid less than minimum wage and many factories don’t have any unions to support their workers. There is a lack of consideration for how the items we consume are produced, they do not just magically appear on our doorsteps, people and the planet are exploited every step of the way and we need to change this.
Here we are going to offer some tips as to how to reduce your part in fast fashions destruction of the environment:
First, what a surprise, just don’t buy items from fast fashion brands. This may seem unrealistic, and to an extent it is but there are many other options.
Use Depop, an app where many people sell their old and often unworn clothing, this means instead of throwing away your items you can sell them on to another home!
Shop in charity shops, again there are many gems hidden beneath what you expect to be old grannies' clothes and often they are pretty cheap so a great alternative for us broke bitches.
Research brands you already shop from, some may be more environmentally friendly which can be good places to shop for the items you need and can’t find anywhere else.
It seems harsh to ask you to stop shopping at your fave online and fast fashion shops but there are alternatives and just making one change is a step in the right direction. Next time you are buying a cheap online dress for your night out just remember the environment is paying the cost that you aren’t.