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Fast fashion and the serious consequences

26-Mar-2019

Let's understand ... What is Fast Fashion?

It is important to learn why and how this industry is affecting our future and our life with serious consequences.  In the past I consumed their products without truly understanding how my choices were causing such an awful impact to our world.  They made me feel out of trend within one month of buying and at the same time, the clothes were falling apart and losing shape.  End result ... I felt empty, angry and I was always coming back to replace them for a new and cool style again ... from the same shop ... this experience is happening with millions of humans on earth that are doing the same.  Are you?

I admit, this way of consuming is a cheap and easy option ... Suddenly I was super trendy, I had a lot of pieces for little money ... My wardrobe was packed, and it started becoming an addiction.  After a while I realized that our planet and millions of people are paying high prices as a result of our hunger for fast-fashion.  I started a journey to learn more and change my own habits.  I started buying less with more focus on quality and with a real purpose ... caring about were my clothes made.  As a fashion lover, I decided to take personal responsibility - I read and studied for many months about the fast-fashion monster consequences ... .and sadly, I can share some facts bellow.  Like I was, I am sure you will be shocked and begin to see why the change is so urgent and a responsibility for all.....

1. "The fashion industry is designed to make you feel "out of trend" after one week. Once upon a time, there were two fashion seasons: Spring / Summer and Fall / Winter.  Fast forward to 2014 and the fashion industry is churning out 52 "micro-seasons" per year.  With new trends coming out every week, the goal of fast fashion is for consumers to buy as many garments as possible, as quickly as possible."-  Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

2."Fast fashion companies design clothes that fall apart quickly. They pursue a strategy called 'planned obsolescence'. This means to design garments to become unfashionable, wear out, lose shape or fall to pieces easily to force consumers to keep buying new clothes."-  Be Global Fashion Network

3. "We are increasingly disconnected from the people who make our clothing as 97% of items are made overseas. There are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today; many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world and roughly 85% of all garment workers are women. "  - The True Cost

4."Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world's polyester fiber, which is now the most commonly used fiber in our clothing.  But it takes more than 200 years to decompose."-  Forbes

5."Fast fashion giants make clothing to fall apart: they are obsessed with the bottom line, so will do anything to make you buy more clothes."-  Huffington Post

6. "85% of the plastic pollution in the ocean is due to microfibers from synthetic clothingfrom Fast Fashion." -  Mark Browne 

7. "If the industry does not change, and it's fashion as usual, the apparel industry's climate impact is expected to increase 49% by 2030." ( Global Fashion Agenda 2017 )

8. "The fashion industry's CO2 emissions are projected to increase to nearly 2.8 billion tons per year by 2030- equivalent to the emissions of 230 million passenger vehicles driven for a year." ( Global Fashion Agenda 2017 )

9. "Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new textiles and fibers." ( Elle MacArthur Foundation 2017 )

10. "Over 50% of workers within the industry are not paid the minimum wage in countries like India and the Philippines." ( Global Fashion Agenda 2017 )

11. "bout 1,900 synthetic plastic microfibers per garment are released when washed and due to their tiny sizes and shapes, they are not caught in waste water treatment and enter our oceans." ( Browne et al., 2011a )

12. "Americans throw away a total of 14 million tonnes of textiles each year." ( EPA)

And the list of the awful impact of fast fashion in our social and environment system never ends ...

Human passion for fashion is destroying our planet ... ?? What can you do as a consumer to help changing this situation?

Not all is hopeless.  Initiatives for change are happening -  the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment was adopted by dozens of brands at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in May 2017 .  Certain brands are capitalizing on the environmental wave to set ambitious targets for themselves:  Adidas for example have committed to used to recycle plastic in their shoes by 2024 and H & M says it hopes to only use sustainable materials in its production by 2030.  The UK government recently announced it would look into the environmental impact of fast fashion with the  European Parliament also setting ambitious targets on circularity  for consumer and business textile waste.

Good news also ... in the last year the search on internet for sustainable and slow fashion increased 66%.  This indicates that people are asking and looking for more transparency before buying only trendy dresses.  You can help a lot as a consumer choosing designer fashion and unique fair brands.  We do not mean world famous designers.  There are so many designers that you need your support and many clothes that are made with love, fairly and that they are simply gorgeous!  I can confirm that each one of us can be part of creating a positive new fashion movement and help immediately our planet.  You deserve your clothes, shoes, bags and accessories to last and be part of your life for long term.  You deserve glamour and the truth.  Thank you for choosing positive changes for fashion and for choosing our planet. 

Photos credit / images from Get Image and from the sustainable luxury designer Stella McCartney AW19 show.