We often hear about how our food habits, disposable plastic use, and flying overseas hurt the environment. Glaringly absent from this narrative is the impact of our fashion choices. Did you know that the fashion industry produces 10% of all of humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply?
Fast fashion is typically defined as low-cost and trendy clothing that’s easier, quicker and cheaper to make. Just as its name implies: it’s fast: the rate of production and delivery is fast; the customer’s decision to purchase is fast; and because the garments degrade quicky, they are thrown away fast. In online shopping of expedited delivery,
Certainly, fast fashion has made clothes more affordable. Buying cheap clothing is also tempting: it gives everyday shoppers a proxy to luxury brands and catwalk trends, and a way to dress like our favorite influencers. But fast fashion comes at tremendous environmental costs that are not reflected in the price tags we see. Consider how 85% of all textiles are dumped each year, filling our oceans with hundreds of thousands of bits of microplastics that are toxic to plant and animal life. Moreover, be mindful that speedy supply chains often involve underpaid and sometimes underage workers who work in unsafe factory conditions.
Perhaps these hidden costs may make us pause before our next purchase.