No one likes to look sloppy and disheveled, we know – fashion has been a crucial marker of both societal status and personal self-expression for all of history, going back to the times of Ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt. In the thousands of years since, our fascination with clothes and their cultural standing has only grown stronger, and so has the industry’s impact on our communities and our planet.
There’s no dancing around it, fashion has been undergoing a tremendous shift, and not necessarily for the better.
If global trends used to revolve around the offerings presented by main fashion houses throughout two to four “seasons” per year, the way manufacturing has changed over the last twenty years has made it possible for major retailers to present cheap knock-offs of every catwalk item virtually straight after every major catwalk show.
Playing into the idea that clothes should be cheap, trendy, and easily discardable, while outfits should never be repeated, fast fashion retailers provide a way for fashionable people all over the world to sport the latest styles while not having to blow their budget nor ruin their Instagram-friendly styles.
While looking trendy has always been on people’s minds, now more than ever we need to realize one ugly truth: fast fashion isn’t, and never will be, sustainable.
Here’s some stats that will blow your mind:
- Fashion is the world’s second most polluting industry
- The fashion industry causes between 10 to 20% of harmful pesticide use
- The fashion industry continues to expand at a 16% compound annual growth rate
- 60% of fast fashion items end up in a landfill.
- The fashion industry could use a quarter of the world's remaining global carbon budget to keep warming under 2C by 2050
- A lack of clothes recycling and reusing accounts for a lost $500 billion every single year
- Fast fashion is responsible for 92 million tonnes of clothes being discarded each year, which equates a truck full of clothes ending up in landfills every single second
- At the current rate, the fashion industry’s global emissions will likely double by 2030
It’s important to keep these statistics in mind when we talk about fast fashion, because greenwashing is rife throughout the industry and misinformation abounds.
You might hear fast fashion proponents like ambassadors and influencers talk about their “sustainability journey” and “transparent practices,” but the truth is that fast fashion is harmful to the environment, greatly undercutting global emission targets, and needs to be stopped.
We need to shift our collective focus towards more ethical and sustainable production for all industries, including and perhaps starting with the fashion industry – remember, the world’s second worst polluter – and we need to do it fast.
Here at Greenworlder, you can find sustainable companies that will help you continue ethical shopping! Stay tuned as we welcome more and more eco-friendly businesses to our platform.