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Fast Facts About Fast Fashion

By M.K.

Quick! Can you count how many pairs of shoes you have off the top of your head?

No?? Then this article is just for you!!!!!

Clothes shopping. The go to outing to do with your friends. You can buy some nice, pretty new clothes, while spending time with your friends AND getting their opinions on clothes that look good on you. Even clothes shopping in general is so much fun.

And every time you’re invited to a party you need to wear a new outfit because you can’t wear the same thing that you wore to the last party, obviously. Repeating outfits is just something we all try to avoid in general.

And buying clothes that are in style is also a really easy way to fit in. Since trends always change so rapidly we have to buy more and more clothes, to keep up with these trends.

You also need outfits for ALL occasions because you never know what could happen. And don’t get me started on shoes, we all need running shoes, about 3 pairs of going out shoes (e.g. Converse, Vans etc.), heels, formal shoes and the list goes on. All of these societal factors leads to many of us consistently buying a lot more clothes than we need and use.

Image by GlamCorner

Now let me give you two words to think about; fast fashion. You’ve probably heard these two words before, maybe you even know what it is. But I’m going to discuss it a little bit more anyways. In fancy terms, fast fashion is defined as cheap, trendy clothing, that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.

So basically, fast fashion means that new clothes are rapidly produced, copying styles seen on catwalks. These clothes use low quality materials in order to make them cheap and accessible to the public.

But what’s my point exactly? Is there even a problem with fast fashion?

The answer is yes, there’s a major problem with fast fashion.

Here’s a couple of quick facts for you;

The fashion industry is actually the biggest polluter after the oil industry

According to WWF it takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton T-shirt, which is enough for one person to drink for 900 days and

The fast fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year

It’s responsible for producing 20% of global wastewater as well as using 80 billion cubic metres of freshwater

More than 60% of fabric fibers are derived from fossil fuels

Many brands, such as Forever21, use toxic chemicals (in the form of textile dyes) to produce their clothes which obviously contaminates waterways.

So clearly, fast fashion is extremely damaging to the environment, however, it can subtly damage the environment too.

Pieces of clothing from fast fashion brands also release microfibers which subtly contributes to ocean plastic pollution. When clothes are washed, these tiny fibers are released which can eventually reach the ocean. One study found that in a typical wash, over 700, 000 microfibers could be released. These microfibers may be tiny, but they’re toxic to marine life and also contribute greatly to plastic pollution.

I don’t think I need to argue anymore about the fact that fast fashion DOES damage the environment. But now that you know, what can you do about it?

Well, the answer’s quite simple.


It’s a very basic concept and if everyone understood it we’d damage the environment a lot less. Clothes shopping doesn’t need to be a ‘hobby’ or your ‘go to outing with your friends’. You shouldn’t have to buy a piece of clothing every 2 weeks, or even every month.

As well as buying too many clothes, we also unnecessarily chuck them out. A study conducted by The Guardian showed that in Australia, 24% of people chucked out a piece of clothing after one wear and 500, 000 tons of textiles and clothing are sent to landfill every year. However, 95% of the clothes that end up in landfill are reusable. So instead of chucking your clothes out, you can always donate them to a charity or younger family member.

Infographic by bag2school

I know not all of you are ready to start protesting against climate change or lobby your local MP to mitigate the damage we’ve inflicted on the environment. However, buying less clothes as well as donating your clothes is such a simple yet highly efficient way to work towards saving our planet.

Because if all of us stop buying so many clothes, there is less need for rapid, new clothes to be produced every week, thus slowing down the fast fashion industry and its tremendous impact on the environment.

* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Woke magazine.


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