Fast Fashion Industry:
Nowadays, the easiest thing to do is to shop online getting orders delivered to your door step or going to the nearest mall and find an endless number of stores and options of fast fashion clothes that have dozens of styles to choose from. But that’s the good side that is shown to people; colorful clothes that looks good. Fast fashion industry is worth billions of dollars. In the past, fashion industry was different as most people got their clothes made especially for them by a seamstress or a tailor; even shops only produced 2 collections per year, a Spring Summer and a Fall Winter, which was until the 80’s when fast fashion was introduced and that is when it started to get dark. Fast fashion refers to clothes that are intentionally designed to be consumed quickly at cheap prices, leading shoppers to view clothes as being disposable objects, wearing them just a few times before throwing them out. It also encourages overconsumption; which causes a lot of damage to the environment. It is considered as the second biggest polluter, water and dye waster and deforester as well as producing huge amounts of carbon emissions.
Figures and facts:
- Half a million tons of microfiber and three million barrels of oil from clothing is dumped in the ocean every year.
- The amount of new clothing bought by one family in a year gives off the same snumber of emissions as driving a car for 6000 miles.
- To produce new clothes, it takes enough water to fill 1000 bathtubs.
- Fast fashion also contributes in plastic pollution by sending up to 700,000 micro plastic fibers back into the environment in one wash load of polyester clothes.
- Around 140 million pounds of our clothes are sent to landfill every year.
If the growth of the fashion continues in the same route, by 2050 it could represent a quarter of the world’s total carbon emissions which may lead to extreme climate change and increase in the natural disasters like draughts, wild fires and storms. In addition, it will affect us as human beings.
- The fashion industry uses nearly 1.5 trillion liters of water every year while 750 million people in the world have no access to clean water.
- The chemicals used in producing clothes could be transferred to the bloodstream within 26 seconds.
- That’s why people should be more aware of the harmful side of the fashion industry and start to open their eyes towards changing their pattern in shopping.
Sustainable fashion is the solution to the problems that fast fashion causes or is the alternative of it as it is considered the new era. Sustainable fashion refers to clothes that are designed, manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that are environmentally friendly and it consists of many types like: slow fashion, recycled, up cycled, second-handed and vintage clothes.
- Slow fashion is buying high quality garments that would last longer as it is a part of higher sustainable fashion concept which is a movement that advocates for slow production and consumption with respect to people and to the environment.
- Recycled clothes are considered as an industrial process that consists of either transforming wasted materials into other useful fashion items or transforming it to produce the same product again.
- Up cycled clothes is another type of sustainable fashion where a person can repair their old garments to make them more fashionable and valuable in order not to waste one’s old clothes but always update them to go with the trend.
- Second-handed clothes that is now called pre-owned or pre-loved is also a type of sustainable fashion; everybody have certain clothing that has been passed down through generations of their cousins giving the clothes a second chance to shine and to be used.
- Vintage clothes those are garments that have been produced in a previous era like a mothers’ or grandmothers’ clothes, purse or shoes. Those are considered vintage clothes; it can be tailored just as easily as something new and there are many vintage stores in Egypt.
To sum up all the previous, Fast fashion is the second biggest polluter which causes a lot of damage to the environment and the only way out is “Sustainable fashion” which is considered as the new era of fashion. It is time to protect our planet and save the environment (while staying stylish of course!)