What The Hell Is "Fast Fashion?"
If you’ve never heard the term fast fashion before, you’re probably thinking “well what the heck is it?”
Fast Fashion is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” In other words, it’s how we get a new batch of trendy clothes every season at inexpensive prices. While this extremely normal practice may seem harmless-- I mean who doesn’t want to stay up on the latest trends-- it is actually one of the biggest contributors to waste, and by extension, climate change.
So let’s break this down.
In an average year, more than 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced and sold globally. In the United States, the average person produces about 82 pounds of textile waste, contributing to the 11 million tons of textile waste produced every year in the country.
So what does this mean? Essentially it means we are treating our closets like they have revolving doors. We cycle in the new, and dispose of the old without ever considering where it might go next.
So where do our old clothes go?
Well, if they are not being donated to charities or thrift shops, or perhaps you have a little marketplace on Depop or Poshmark, then your old clothes are going to a landfill where they will sit for 200 YEARS. Yes, you read that correctly. Many textiles are not biodegradable and sit in landfills and trash heaps for over 200 years emitting harmful gases into the air.
In addition to the physical waste produced from throwing out our old clothes, we also waste a lot of water to make them.
Did you know that it takes 713 gallons of water to make just ONE cotton tee shirt? To put this into perspective, this amount of water could keep someone hydrated for 900 days, about 2.5 years.
So by now, you might be pretty overwhelmed. That’s totally okay! You should be.
In the upcoming blog posts, we will go through easy and simple ways for you to sustainability recycle your old clothes, how to thoughtfully purchase new clothes, which brands to avoid and which to support, and so much more.
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Second Photo: Jon Cellier on Unsplash
Third Photo: photo