fast fashion

Buy less: Care more

The fashion industry is responsible for 85% of all anthropogenic debris on global shorelines. It causes 20% of world industrial water pollution and, if it does not change pretty quickly, by 2050 it could be using a quarter of the world’s remaining carbon budget and exploiting 35 % more land by 2030, according to A sustainable and resilient circular fashion and textiles industry report by Sarah Cornell, Tiina Häyhä and Celinda Palm.

Over the past 15 years, clothing production has accelerated, generating huge loads of cheaper clothes that last less. Just to get an idea, only this year the popular fashion app Shein has already launched the staggering amount of 314,877 new styles; clothes that in the long or short term will irremediably become a mount of waste.

Sustainable efforts

Despite the industry having started to implement measures and inventing and reinventing plans to tackle the issue of planet unsustainability, the problem is that most initiatives continue putting economic growth and business opportunities first. Efforts to use more sustainable fibres and materials go in the right direction, but unfortunately they are having as much effectiveness as a band aid on an infected wound, since the consumption of resources and the generation of waste and pollution are winning the race.
On top of that, the issue of labour abuses in the processes chains is out of control. The problems of child labour, forced labour and discrimination has worsened in the last years.

fast fashion child labour

Changing attitudes

There needs to be a global alignment between industry, consumers and governments, so that we all walk in the same direction, towards reducing the use of resources in the fashion industry and towards living in a fairer place.

Interest must be shifted into buying less and caring more. Repairing, caring and transforming garments already owned in order to extend their lifespan. We must recover lost skills such as sewing, embroidering and mending clothes. The fashion industry needs to focus on quality over quantity, on resistance and durability, and on long lasting styles rather than passing fads. Unsold stocks hold the value of the new garment and the brand they carry, even when new trends arrive.

Governments need to encourage new forms of business models in order to help create a post-growth direction for the fashion sector, so that it works with the common good in mind.
And of course we must use what has already been created, respecting the resources allocated in the garments instead of discarding them before they’re used for the first time.

Customers, in turn, we have to buy fewer new clothes and be willing to change our buying habits. We need to understand that buying second hand garments is a good way of having a lower environmental impact. We need to start caring about where our clothes come from, who made them and how long they are going to last. Fast fashion must change fast if we want our planet to last forever.

If you liked the article, do not hesitate to read us on our blog about fashion stocks and sustainability.


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