Looking at a cute top hanging in the store, what are the first few things that come to our minds? Its style, color, look, and price? And if it is on a promotion, which is not uncommon, we might end up buying not just one but may be two or more of such tops? This is true not just for tops, but pretty much for everything else. That’s the fast fashion trend these days; deals everyday and everywhere, buy clothes, wear them a few times, keep them in the closet for some time, and finally toss them in a donation bin while doing the next spring clean-up!
Unfortunately, there are many dark truths behind that cute looking top.
Fashion industry alone consumes one tenth of the carbon emissions and is the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply! It takes about 700 gallons of water to make one cotton shirt because cotton is a highly water intensive plant. That is enough water for a family of four to drink for a year!
Water pollution caused by dyeing of clothes is another huge impact. Chemicals used in the dyeing process are harmful pollutants for the rivers, streams, and other water bodies where the left-over water from the dyeing process is dumped into. Since a lot of the textile manufacturing happens in countries where strict laws are not in place and these waste chemicals get dumped into the environment, dyeing has become a major source of water pollution causing severe health issues and impact on the aquatic life.
Most of all, the social impact of Fast fashion is extremely saddening. Just to give a heavy discount on that top to meet someone’s instant gratification, somebody had to work on an extremely low wage, in unsafe work conditions, and job insecurity to provide a basic meal for their family.
Such are the degenerative impacts of fast fashion that spans across social, political, and environmental factors that we as consumers should be very conscious while making decisions on buying new stuff!