As a billion-dollar industry, those who fight to end fast fashion are up against some of the most powerful and well-connected corporations in the world. The truth is that being trendy can be detrimental, the cause of both ethical and environmental issues globally.
From a broader perspective, consumers are happy to duplicate designer looks often inspired by people of influence for bargain prices. A major downside to the production of fast fashion is the outsourcing which results in these easily available clothing items. Countless workers overseas are exploited for cheap labor in factories which contributes to many environmental issues as well.
Furthermore, the inhumane working conditions of these factories only scratches the surface of fast fashion’s many issues.
The environment surrounding fast fashion factories often suffers as well. Numerous developing countries find themselves transforming into massive dumping grounds for unwanted clothes. Just imagine your community being etched out by a clothing landfill. Unwanted clothes are discarded like trash when it no longer holds any value to the consumer.
This trend is alarming. A large portion of clothing winds up in the ocean, adding to the existing threat of water pollution.
Overall, the damaging effects are often overlooked or viewed as collateral damage for keeping up with the demands of consumers.
A crucial question remains: Will this revolving door for fashion trends die over time?
For the time being, unfortunately, I do not see much change occurring. Although, the world’s governments have not stepped in to legislate the fast fashion industry on a global scale, doesn’t mean that we as citizens of the Earth are powerless. We can take minor strives in our daily lives to not contribute to fast fashion.
There are a few solutions you can do such as not shopping at brands that do not support fashion sustainability, or you can find ways to repurpose your old clothing.
If you still find yourself looking for more clothing, thrifting is a great alternative.
As cliché as it may sound the adage, “one person can make a difference and everyone should try” is true. The next time you are tempted to “ball on a budget” please remember, while the price you pay for an item may be cheap, laborers and our environment pay far worse prices.