5 Unforgivable Sins Of Fast Fashion
Affordability, simplicity, accessibility, and convenience are all attractive features of fast fashion.
However, if your everyday cup of coffee is more expensive than your t-shirt, you should be suspicious. Despite the fact that many of us are aware of the horrors of the fast fashion business, we are quick to distance ourselves from it. We convince ourselves, "It can't be that horrible."
But, yes, it is.
To put things in perspective, here are some of the most surprising facts regarding the fast fashion industry.
1) Fast fashion exploits its workers like no other industry.
Workers are not only compelled to work in dreadful conditions with little technological support, but they are also unfairly underpaid.
According to Fashion Checker studies, the majority of these workers don't even make minimum wage. Not only that, but the majority of the workforce is made up of women from developing nations with limited labor rights.
Imagine working for up to 14 hours a day in deplorable conditions and not being able to feed your family. "Underpaid" is an exaggeration.
2) Each year, the fast fashion sector is estimated to create 1,000,000,000,000 (100 billion) units of clothes.
All of those outfits' input materials come from natural sources, which require a lot of water. That doesn't even reflect the processing stage, which consumes hundreds (if not thousands) of gallons of water for a single item.
As a result, according to the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, the fast fashion considered to be the second water consumer.
3) Water Pollution and Consumption. Not only does the fast fashion business consume excessive amounts of water, but it also pollutes natural water bodies around the world with microplastics.
The fast fashion business relies far too heavily on synthetic fibers.
These synthetic garments can discharge approximately 700,000 microplastics per wash when washed. Microplastics can get past wastewater treatment systems and end up in the ocean.
This is why sustainable fashion brands like Biankina® champion non-shedding, organic and recycled textiles. Shoes composed of natural fibers like jute, cork, rubber, organic cotton and recycled pet bottles reduce microplastic waste greatly.
4) Beware of fast fashion promises. Taking our items to recycling centers or making purchases from brands that promise to use recycled content makes us feel fairly good.
These fast fashion labels, however, are not telling you the complete story.
In actuality, these recycling initiatives are a greenwashing scheme to entice environmentally conscientious customers.
5) Doesn't last. To certain individuals, this reality may not appear to be just silly. "Obviously garments don't keep going long," they'll disregard it. Yet, the short life expectancy of attire is only one of the numerous things that the quick fashion industry has erroneously standardized.
When something costs as low as a $5 shirt, it will be bad quality — that is guaranteed. That, yet the low cost will condition you to see garments as effectively dispensable.
Unfortunately, this is the mentality that legitimizes shoppers to discarding garments after a couple of wears.
Before you purchase your next outfit, consider the impact to the planet and society... let's consider all that we're turning a blind eye to. With a little bit of extra effort finding brands that truly care about the impact it has on the environment and people is totally doable.