Fashion is all around us. We see it in advertisements, movies, tv shows, social media. It’s everywhere. The fashion industry has never been more booming than it is right now. But all of that comes at a cost.
because fashion is also the second largest polluter in the world. And it should be no secret that the industry plays a major role in climate change.
Fast fashion is when clothing is produced at a fast rate by retailers to keep up with the latest trends. This contributes to ten percent of global carbon emissions, which is the effect of manufacturing, production, and transportation of millions of pieces of clothing.
The fashion industry is a big contributor to water pollution, deforestation, and waste. So much clothing ends up in landfills. The United States alone sends 21 billion pounds of garments to landfills per year. Simple solution; donate your clothes, right? Wrong, only around 15% of clothes are donated.
The truth is, buying from sustainable fashion brands is a lot harder from fast fashion retailers. A big problem is that fast fashion is ultimately cheaper than most sustainable retailers. That is why most teenagers shop with fast fashion brands. It’s more of a convenience for people who may not have the money to spend on an expensive pair of jeans made sustainable.
With this, there is a lack of knowledge about the fast fashion industry. “Honestly I just don’t know what brands are good and what brands are not good” says Jack Cieslowski, an Oakton High School student. There needs to be more awareness on what brands to support, that are trying to become more sustainable.
The important note is that there are things consumers can keep in mind when shopping for clothes. Buying clothes made from natural or semi-synthetic fibers is the better option compared to synthetic fibers which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, limit chemicals used, waste output, fewer microfibers put into the ocean, and helps reduce water pollution.
The entire world needs to support sustainable fashion. There needs to be more information given out about brands that are trying to help keep our planet green and limit the pollution the fashion industry makes.