Fast Fashion Production and Consumption Has Doubled Since 2000
The fast fashion industry is a booming industry that supports the mass production of cheap and trendy clothing. Around 60% more garments were bought in 2014 than in 2000 and these clothes are only being kept for half as long. That is more than doubling the amount of clothing produced, bought, and thrown away since 2000. More often than not, these clothing items are worn a few times and then end up in landfills. Fast fashion production negatively impacts our environment and is unsustainable.
Fast Fashion Impacting Our Landfills
When looking at the environmental impact of fast fashion, around 1 full garbage truck of clothing is burned or put into a landfill every second. 85% of all textiles produced to make garments are thrown into landfills. Our society is overproducing which encourages people to over-consume and this has become a vicious cycle of unsustainable living.
Fast Fashion Impacts Our Oceans
Many clothes contain microfibres, 60% of garments include polyester fibres which are plastic. Washing clothes releases 500,000 microfibres every year into our oceans. This is equal to 50 billion plastic bottles. An estimated 31% of plastic pollution in our oceans is made up of microfibres.
Fast Fashion Impacting Fresh Water
Textile dyeing is the second largest water polluter globally. This is due to dyed water often being dumped into streams, ditches and rivers. The fashion industry is responsible for 20% of worldwide industrial water pollution. Furthermore, the fast fashion industry uses a significant amount of water to farm cotton. It is the second-largest consumer of water globally. It takes approximately 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans. To put this into perspective, that is more than one person drinking eight cups of water per day for a decade. Therefore, not only is fast fashion polluting our oceans and freshwater, but it is also using up a significant amount of water.
Fast Fashion Contributing to an Increase in Carbon Emissions
The fashion industry is responsible for producing 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. That is more emissions produced than all maritime shipping and international flights.
Avoid Fast Fashion Whenever Possible
Fast fashion has such a negative impact on our environment and is not sustainable. To curb the number of products being produced, our society needs to avoid overconsumption of products and reuse what we already have by purchasing vintage or second-hand clothing whenever possible.