The fast fashion industry has been under greater scrutiny as more consumers become aware of its detrimental environmental impacts. Relying on cheap and rapid production and distribution of low quality clothing, fast fashion not only generates 92 million tons of clothing and textile waste every year, which is equivalent to one and half Empire State Buildings a year, but produces more carbon emissions than aviation and shipping sectors combined.
What’s more, 20% of global wastewater comes from textile dyeing needed to support the fast fashion industry. While consumers can enjoy low priced clothing from fast fashion brands such as Zara, Forever 21 and H&M, it comes at a cost: garment workers are more often than not receiving unfair wages and working in poor labour conditions. Aside from these worrying statistics, here are some notable fast fashion quotes and spur you into action.
1.“Fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”– Livia Firth, co-founder and creative director of Eco-Age, a leading consulting and creative agency specialised in integrated sustainability
2. “Fast fashion is not free. Someone, somewhere is paying the price.”– Lucy Siegle, British journalist and writer who specialises in environmental issues
3. “As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”– Emma Watson, actress and environmental activist
4. “When an industry doesn’t care about how people are treated, no consideration of sustainability is possible. You can’t just care about the environment and forget about the fair and ethical treatment of people.”– Simone Cipriani, an officer of the United Nations who created and manages the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the WTO
5. “Next to oil, fashion in its broadest sense, fast fashion, to leather to denim, is the next biggest industrial polluter of the world’s waterways.”Filmmaker Mark Angelo in his documentary, RiverBlue
6. “If you pay a little more, we can live a little better.”– Sharti Atka, garment worker from Bangladesh
7. “What if we started by slowing down and not consuming so much stuff, just because it’s there and cheap and available. It’s amazing how that process makes sense financially, it makes sense ethically, it makes sense environmentally.”– Andrew Morgan, filmmaker and director of The True Cost
8. “Fashion’s negligence to provide a living wage is especially concerning when considering that fact the United Nations has declared it a basic human right.”– Patrick Woodyard, Co-Founder & CEO of Nisolo, an online retailer that emphasises on providing fair wages
9. “Demand quality, not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.”– Orsola de Castro, an upcyclist, fashion designer, author, and co-founder of Fashion Revolution, an activism movement which works towards a sustainable fashion industry
10. “Cheap consumer products are sold to us as some grand achievement of globalisation, but they’ve come at the price of middle-class jobs, craftsmanship and stable communities.”– Elizabeth L Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
11. “When you buy into fast fashion, no matter how many times you wash your clothes they will never be truly clean. They’re stained by the sweat of those who made them, and the footprint it leaves on this planet.”– Laura François, social impact strategist and social entrepreneur behind organisations including Clothing the Loop and Fashion Revolution
12. “One day we’ll wake up and green will not be the new black, it will be the new invisible. Meaning, no longer will sustainable be the exception or something that’s considered au courant; instead it will be a matter of course – something that all designers incorporate into their design ethos.”– Summer Rayne Oakes, known as the world’s first “eco-model”, entrepreneur, and author of Style, Naturally
13. “Cheap fashion is really far from that, it may be cheap in terms of the financial cost, but very expensive when it comes to the environment and the cost of human life.”– Sass Brown, author of ECO Fashion
This article was originally written and published by Earth.Org and is republished here as part of an editorial partnership.
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