Fast fashion. What is fast fashion?

It is something that in recent years is quite rooted in the habits of many consumers.

It can be fascinating, since if we visit any shopping mall we can opt for current, modern clothes at a very affordable price.

Textile fashion is a tendency that people have to adopt a certain style, model or color. The more people adopt that fashion, the more people will follow it. That’s right, the clothes we choose nowadays depend on the fashion trends and for that each one of us can choose from a large number of garments.

According to the World Resources Institute, we currently buy 60% more clothes than we did 20 years ago. It also indicates that the volume of clothing produced each year is enough for everyone to buy at least 20 items of clothing each year.

One of the reasons for this is that the price of clothing has increased at a slower rate in recent years.

This might seem like a positive or beneficial thing for the consumer, to be able to renew our closet very often for little money.

What is the extent of the damage caused by fast fashion on the environment?

The textile industry is::

✓ The biggest polluter after oil.

✓ Responsible for 10% of CO2 emissions.

✓ Responsible for the production of 20% of wastewater.

✓ Responsible for 30% of microplastics in the oceans due to microfibers released from textiles.

✓ One of the largest consumers of water and energy for the manufacture of garments.

✓ Responsible for producing tons of waste.

✓ Responsible for large landfills where millions of tons of clothes are piled up, since only 1% of these garments are recycled. It is cheaper to manufacture new clothes than to recycle old clothes.

This is the goal of fast fashion or also known as Fast Fashion. A trend as we have said, very integrated in our society and characterized by
promoting a constant and excessive production of clothes at low cost.

This fast production is
also characterized by offering garments of very low quality and low longevity. The motto “use and throw away” could be applied.

With globalization and technology, consumption has increased, which has made it necessary to shorten production and delivery times.

Current data indicate that more than 100,000 garments are produced each year. It is estimated that this production will increase by 50% by the year 2030 due to its high demand.

But, what can we observe if we look at the origin of that garment, at its manufacture?

One aspect that many of us are unaware of has to do with the environmental impact and the working conditions of the people who work in this sector.

What can we say about the workers who work in this industry?

It is estimated that 98% of the workers who make clothes do not earn enough to cover their basic needs.

Not only do they receive a miserable salary, but they are exploited and forced to work long hours of up to 15 hours in subhuman conditions.

They work in textile workshops that do not provide adequate safety and conditions. In addition, they are exposed to all kinds of chemicals and dyes that are very dangerous to their health. In many countries, despite being prohibited, thousands of children are also recruited and work in appalling conditions. This is known as modern slavery.

All these reasons demonstrate the negatives of fast fashion. Being informed of the consequences and the impact on both the environment and working conditions, we must be more critical of our consumption habits, be responsible consumers and bet on other options such as sustainable fashion.

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