Fashion Emergency – The Waste Crisis
The fashion industry has boomed during the past two decades – thanks to the rise of ‘fast fashion’. Fast fashion is defined as inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. Unfortunately, the very nature of this new business model is unsustainable, as it promotes excessive consumerism and generates huge amounts of waste.
In the past, we had only seasonal trends (like summer or winter) but now, due to the mass production of these fast fashion brands, we have new trends being produced every single week. Trying to keep up with these constantly shifting trends, the average person buys 60% more items of clothing every year, compared to 15 years ago. However, the problematic thing is that we are discarding old clothes just as quickly as we are buying them.
The low price points of these garments means that we have started seeing, and treating fashion as disposable. If a top is only $5-$10, it can be bought, worn once or twice, and then thrown away with no consequence. Or so people assume. In reality, we are consuming and throwing away clothes in such record, unprecedented numbers that it’s becoming a huge pollution issue for the environment. Many of the synthetic materials popular in fast fashion, such as polyester, can take up to 200 years to degrade.
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