Fast fashion is what is wrong with the fashion industry. It is the opposite of sustainable and ethical fashion. This trend is not only a problem of the fashion industry; it is spread out through many sectors of the economy. A cursory glance through online reviews about brands will tell you all you need to know about the dangers of fast fashion.
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What is Fast Fashion?
The fashion industry is a significant cause of pollution globally. The process of making garments require methods that are destructive to the planet. Fast fashion, therefore, is doubling this process, from the production stage to the final consumer stage. Fast fashion implies that clothes are produced more quickly, and in the same vein, they spoil quickly. This is because the clothes are made with cheap materials, removing the concept of sustainability from the fashion industry.
Basically, fast fashion is the mass production of cheap and disposable clothing. Clothes should last a long while fading and wearing out after a short time, causing customers to buy more at ridiculous times. The concept also applies to the fast-changing trends that drive more garment purchases to keep up with the latest fashion style.
Apart from fast fashion, other negative aspects of the fashion industry include;
1. Environmental impact
Studies have shown that the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry. The problem is that with the growth of the sector, pollution increases. The different environmental effects related to the industry are;
2. Water pollution
Most places where the textiles are produced see the wastes from the factories dumped into rivers and other water bodies. These wastes contain chemicals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, among many others. Aquatic organisms and the people who drink from such waters are seriously affected by these chemicals’ intake. The heavy use of fertilisers during cotton production also affects runoff and evaporation waters.
3. Water consumption
The production of textiles uses up much water, straining an already scarce resource. The dyeing and finishing process of a ton of fabric can take about 200 tons of fresh water. Also, in cotton production, it can take up to 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton. Ecological consequences, like desertification, are the result of such a venture.
4. Microfibres pollution
Microfibres are released into the water when we wash our clothes, and they find their way into the ocean, thereby polluting it. Small fishes eat up these microfibres, and they are eaten up by bigger fishes, in turn. And when we fish, we take these fibres into our body system by eating them up.
5. Waste problem
The industry does not provide a safe mechanism for the disposal of wastes in the production of textiles. Synthetic fibres from our clothes can take up to 200 years to decompose, which implies that we poison the earth when we toss away our old clothes or incinerated them.
There is also the working condition of labourand soil degradation. Solutions to these problems have been identified, but they will take a long time to affect. It begins, though, with you and me making a change in our fashion choices, making sure we become fashion conscious.