The influence of fast fashion spans continents. Clothing giant Zara is now worth $13 billion dollars with stores in over 93 countries. how can a piece of clothing that cheap to make, transport, and advertise? There are substantial humanitarian and environmental costs that are hidden by an inexpensive price tag. Although these fast fashion companies have committed numerous human rights violations were going to look at the environmental issues that are caused by the mass production of cheap clothes. The phrase fast fashion is used as an umbrella term to describe the accelerated process of turning new design ideas into the close on the retail store in the case of a store. For example, it takes a mere 14 to 21 days from inception to the sale of the product. Miss ability to create new trends very quickly bind with savvy marketing campaigns has meant that stores like H.& M. and forever 21 can quickly change every item in their store to drum up hype about a new line of clothes much like a fast-food chain that is constantly changing its menu items to stay relevant.
These fast fashion stores can introduce new clothes almost weekly not only does this mean that consumers are tempted to fight the most unique best chance for shirts, but it also means that older items quickly become around this constant. Overconsumption has high environmental consequences on the supply side of the equation. Most clothing is now made of a material called polyester which is a petroleum-based fiber that requires large amounts of fossil fuels for manufacturing according to Forbes, that number has now reached up to 70000000 barrels in the rise of fast fashion. Now polyester manufacturing for clothing far outpaces other common materials like cotton or wool. This presents a significant problem, especially considering that polyester is a non-biodegradable substance. Polyester can take anywhere from 20 to 200 years to degrade, pending on the conditions it is one of the leading causes of microplastics in oceans because when washing polyester clothing, shed fibers that can find their way into more abundant water.
In short, polyester is really cheap. It makes the cost of manufacturing thousands of plants much less expensive than before. It’s able to do this because it offered all of its expenses on to the environment. But fast fashion has also given rise to a host of post-consumption environmental problems, mainly waste. The average American spends 81 pounds of textiles to landfill each year. This is partly driven by constant exposure to marketing campaigns explaining out with the old in with the new. The environmental harm caused by this new profit-centered industry is not at all reflected in the price; the fashion industry is now the eighth-most polluting industry in the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It is responsible for 92000000 tons or 4 percent of the world’s annual solid waste. So the real cost of my bathing suit is much higher than $10, but unfortunately, as consumers, we can only do so much to influence the fashion industry’s practice. Considering this, there are a few better options than a fine from fast fashion companies for one; there are companies like Nashville based on Elizabeth Susan, which works to create transparency about the cost and production behind their high-quality season less quote. But even better than buying something new from a more ethical company is buying secondhand or swapping clothes with friends and family. Not only are you diverting flows from the landfill, but you also stop participating in a system that treats its workers poorly and destroys our environment.