The Sad Reality of Fast Fashion

Looking back at my high school experience, I was the biggest advocate for clothing places like Zara, Forever 21, H&M, etc. I would buy almost anything that was trendy because I believed fashion to be a great part of expressing myself. I took advantage of the multiple styles given to us like streetwear, business wear, sports wear, and even rocker chic style. I never thought twice about where I was putting my money and to whom I was giving it too. It was about the summer of 2017 where my view on fashion changed dramatically.

 

Fast fashion is described to be designs that move from catwalk to society to quickly capture current trends. Sounds great to many but behind the scenes not so great. Due to the fast-moving pace of what’s trendy and what’s not, there are 80 billion items of clothing made every year!!

 

 

Over these past two years I have had the opportunity to learn more about the cons of Fast Fashion in our nation.  Fast fashion brands in charge of popular clothing stores like Zara, increase production of clothing to benefit only their production sales. There have been many cases where Zara and other companies have been able to get away with child labor, increased pollution, and death of many factory workers in third world countries.

 

 

Due to the huge market of consumers who want fashion at low costs, the U.S is responsible for one of the largest countries known for textile waste. “Approximately 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste each year” to be exact. You have places like Victoria Secret forcing their employees to rip “out of season” articles of clothing in half in order to prevent “homeless from getting a hold of the items and using them for their benefit”. It’s a cruel busy that is overshined by society’s expectations to dress like everyone’s favorite celebrity. Most of consumers are stuck in a constant cycle of buying what’s trendy which allows them to perfectly play a big role in the textile waste.

 

Donation centers aren’t what you expect to be as well. Places like Salvation Army as well as high end corporations are exposed for taking unwanted items and selling them to middleman corporations in order to receive profit. By selling these unwanted donated clothes to places of poverty, specifically in African countries, they heighten profit on other people’s unwanted clothes instead of giving them to those in desperate need. Unfortunately, you have these third world countries that are over flowed with clothing items that result in landfills forcing the locals to go “treasure hunting” and try to resell those items to make a living. It’s selfish to consider that these already financially struggling countries are now, on top of trying to establish an economy without greed, have to deal with cleaning other wealthy countries messies. This again refers to the constant cycle that many people are dragged into unconsciously.

 

We need to be conscious of our decisions and the way they impact not only our environment but others. As fashion is still a major form of expression, i have come to realize that it’s just not worth the popularity if the cost is bringing harm to others and animals. For me, I am living a better life just by becoming conscious of where i am spending money towards fashion and what brands mission statement truly define who i am as a person.

 

 

Ways to prevent waste and become more aware of fast fashion harms include:

-THRIFT/ BUY VINTAGE ITEMS

-BUY FROM ETHICAL BRANDS (research is key)

-SHOP LESS, CHOOSE BETTER, LONG-LASTING CLOTHING ITEMS

-TAKE CARE OF YOUR CLOTHING ITEMS NOW TO PREVENT BUYING MORE “BETTER SHAPE ONES”

-READ TRUSTED ARTICLES

-HAVE A RECYCLING PARTY WITH FRIENDS (trade clothes you don’t want or wear!)

-WATCH THIS INFORMATIVE VIDEO TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO THE PROBLEM SURROUNDING ALL OF US HERE.

 

Stay lovely folks,

Aya