Why Making Eco-Conscious Decisions About Fast Fashion Are A Good Idea

By Haley T.

We all enjoy shopping for the latest trends and updating our wardrobe. Every season, it seems as if we all want an entirely new wardrobe. Whether you’re interested in buying a new pair of shoes or wanting to make your house more energy efficient, with the environment currently being where it is and sustainability a vital topic of conversation, we have to be mindful of what we put our money toward.

When it comes to green energy, for instance, a recent study found that only 7.6% of the solar workforce is African American. For an industry that champions equity, independence and social and environmental responsibility, solar still has room to grow; mainly in the inclusion and ability to elevate minorities in a field made up mostly of white men. There is now a resource allowing consumers to support Black-owned businesses in clean energy, which I highly recommend checking out.

Of course it’s not just what we use around our homes, but also what we choose to wear every day. While fast fashion is the most popular kind within the fashion industry, many people may not think of what’s behind the creation of these fast fashion options. Before you think of buying brand new clothing for springtime, here are the reasons you should rethink buying fast fashion and look towards other options. 

It’s Bad For the Environment

With an estimated 80 billion new pieces of clothing produced every year, fast fashion is one of the biggest polluters in the world. Of those 80 billion, millions and millions of clothes end up in landfills, leading to not only excessive use of carbon emissions but also to an enormous amount of waste. While donating your clothes to a thrift store is the route to go instead of dumping your clothes in a landfill, not everybody does this.

In fact, it’s been reported that the average American throws out 68 pounds of textiles per year, still leading to the issue that the production of clothing only leads to the production of more waste. With spring coming up, we know spring cleaning will be in full force. Once you hit your closet, you’ll likely find a few items that you’re willing to donate or sell. If you don’t have time to go into thrift stores, sell your clothes online instead. This will be an easier process of cleaning out your closet, prevent even more clothing from ending up in landfill and extend the lifespan of your once used clothing. 

Not Always the Best Quality

With how quickly fast fashion is made, it’s not a surprise that the quality isn’t always the best. Since some clothes aren’t the most expensive to make, the quality of the cloth being used is likely some of the cheapest fabrics possible. This can often lead to sewing mistakes within your clothes, a poor fit or misplaced fabrics. Unfortunately, with these kinds of inexpensively made items, you’re only going to get into the habit of buying more clothes to replace the ones you already have. Leading to spending more money and even more clothes within your closet that can possibly end up in a landfill.

That’s why buying quality clothing is the way to go. While it often can be more expensive upfront, it will serve as an investment and actually lead to being worn more than fast fashion options. The next time you’re in need of items, either look towards ethical and sustainable clothing brands or thrift stores with quality options. While you may have to spend more money initially, you won’t regret investing in these kinds of options. 

Fast Fashion Distorts Your Sense of Value

Similar to what was stated above, buying fashion options that are the cheapest can lead you to getting exactly what you paid for. A piece of clothing you only wear a couple of times or not at all. Because we’re all so used to wanting to save money, buying cheap clothing can actually distort our sense of value. Instead of filling our closet with 10-20 pieces of quality clothing, we tend to fill our closet with 50+ pieces of clothing that we either never wear or only wear a couple of times.

The next time, instead of buying that shirt that’s only 3 dollars, think if you really need it and if there’s a similar-looking shirt that might be more expensive but of higher quality. You’ll be able to tell either by the brand name or the kind of fabric used. 

It Exploits Oversea Workers

Unless you’re buying from a brand that is stated as a fair-trade company, you’re likely buying from a company that is being made overseas with not the best working conditions. Big companies that are under pressure to constantly produce new clothes at a fast pace usually are produced in countries that have the lowest cost production numbers, often leading to poor and crowded conditions for workers.

This includes working a large number of hours while being paid less than minimum wage, exposure to dangerous chemicals and being cut off from basic health amenities such as a bathroom or water supply. Instead of supporting these kinds of working conditions, look towards clothing companies that are fair trade. Fair trade offers sustainable and fair wages for those in need but also profits from fair trade go towards helping developing communities. 

Haley T. is a San Franciscan who loves to spend her free time exploring California. Her main areas of interest include fashion and women’s wellness.

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  1. Pingback: Popular Career Choices In The Fashion Industry - GirlTalkHQ

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