Is it just me or are you constantly having parcels turn up at your door but still have nothing to wear? We’ve all been guilty of this! That £10 subscription for free next day delivery for a year can make us feel like it’s normal to have stuff turn up promptly on our doorsteps. God knows where it has come from, how it was made or how many miles the delivery driver has done overnight to get me yet another pair of lounge pants.
But the trouble with wanting something new, instead of reusing and cherishing what we have, is making us culprits of fast fashion. We’re letting ourselves be targets of the toxic industry. When clothes are extremely cheap it is hard to think of the reasons why that garment or item shouldn’t be purchased. It encourages us as consumers to not think too much about necessity or need. It is an extremely hard habit to overcome, browsing an online clothing store is a fun pastime, especially when things can be so inexpensive and on trend.
However, fast fashion is one of the major contributors to climate change! It is important that we learn and understand exactly where our clothes are coming from. To comprehend what effects a high demand for clothes is having on our ecological system. Is cheaper always better?
Fast fashion is in no way meant to be sustainable. Fast fashion retailers work on an on-trend basis. From design to consumption in a matter of weeks. Here are some quick-fire stats:
- 2,000 gallons of water is used to grow the cotton for a pair of jeans.
- 713 gallons of water just to grow enough cotton for a regular t-shirt.
- The fast fashion industry produces 1 billion garments annually.
- The fast fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
- This is about 5% of global emissions. That’s more than the emissions created by air travel and international shipping.
- The fast fashion industry is responsible for producing 20% of global wastewater. This results in the contamination of rivers, oceans, freshwater sources, and soil.
We see fast fashion as a god send, as a lifesaver. Something to be celebrated in modern society, that we can shop from the comfort of our own homes and get it delivered to our door within 24-hours. If we think about it in simple terms it is amazing and convenient. It will be a challenge for all of us, myself included but maybe we should see the word cheap as a tarnished sentiment, as low quality and poor working conditions for workers oversees. And lastly as having a detrimental impact on our mother Earth.
The cost of an item of clothing does not reflect the true cost of the effects on the environment, nor the health and safety of those under paid and over worked. Yes, bagging a pair of jeans for £15 is a bonus for your bank account, but what journey has that pair of jeans been on from being made by an exploited worker in Vietnam to arriving at your doorstep to then be thrown out in a matter of months. What is the true cost to the environment or an over exploited worker?
If you’re feeling a little inspired why don’t you shop vintage with Kindly Vintage! Don’t waste your time on ASOS. Buy a pre-loved outfit and feel proud of yourself for it, giving clothes a new lease of life and being able to stand out with unique and timeless pieces.
I feel like I’m wearing an invisible badge of honour when I’m strutting around in my vintage clothes, I feel like I am breaking free of the shackles of fast fashion and being an ethical shopper. Shopping consciously can feel hard to begin with or choosing not to shop at all can be extremely difficult, browsing online is a pastime. But the addiction can be broken. I believe in you!