The appeal of fast fashion is hard to resist: cheaper prices mixed with constant availability of new products. This combination makes fast fashion the logical choice for the majority of people. While the cost is cheap for the buyer, the toll it takes on the environment is exponential.
Water pollution, toxic chemicals, and textile waste are some of the biggest contributors to this environmental pollution. The bright colors and patterns these companies make can only be achieved by way of toxic chemicals. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water, but it doesn't stop there. Polyester is used to make the majority of these clothes, but when washed, the fabric sheds non-biodegradable microfibers, adding to the plastic pollution in our oceans. The other piece of the fast fashion issue falls on the buyers. With more clothing available for less money, people are buying more of it and keeping it for less time. This causes a viscous cycle of constant newness and disposable clothing, ultimately leading to an immense amount of textile waste.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
shop second hand and vintage
buy clothing made of natural fabrics
support local brands
buy less, but higher quality
swap clothes with friends
You’re not alone! And you’re not a bad person if you have a couple H&M dresses in your closet. I too am learning how to shop ethically and support sustainability in the world of fashion. If we all make a conscious effort to think about the clothes we buy, sustainable fashion will rise above the rest.