Fast fashion: Destruction in style

Fast fashion companies make trendy clothes quick, cheap, and disposable. These companies knock off designer brands at scale to lure the masses. Fast fashion may be cheap and easily available, but it is also a burden on the environment. Fast fashion companies sell almost exact replicas of the products made by the luxury brands, at approximately one-tenth the cost. This business model has revolutionized the industry but not for the better. The lifespan of these clothes is almost half. These garments are disposed of at an unprecedented rate. While sales may be booming the impact is dooming our environment. It is estimated that the fashion industry is responsible for almost 10% of global carbon emissions which is more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Fast fashion compromises on the quality and in return the products have to be replaced often.

Photo via SANVT

It can be hard to make the switch immediately, thus the main goal should be to slowly phase it out.

Here are a few steps to combat fast fashion:

1. Shop from ethical brands- look into the companies you’re shopping from. Apps like ‘Good on You’ have collected data and rated foreign brands based on how ethical they are.

2. Recycling at the source- brands like H&M allow customers to drop off their old clothes so that they can be turned into new products.

3. Repurposing - Old garments can be turned into quilts or blankets.

4. Thrift more - thrifting is an environmentally friendly and affordable way to attain sustainability. There are tons of thrift stores that can be found online.

5. Support small businesses - supporting small businesses benefits the environment and boosts sales for aspiring entrepreneurs since most small firms produce products in a small batch using eco-friendly methods.

Many issues come up when talking about fast fashion companies, but sadly, most go unreported in mainstream media. From harmful environmental impacts to human rights abuses, fast fashion has a long list of major drawbacks. The change needed to bring to this problem cannot be fast but the first step in tackling this industry is awareness.

Photo via BBC News

Authored: by: Vedika Bajaj

Edited by: Shivani Arvind