Can Fast Fashion Be Sustainable?

In today’s fashion industry, new designs and collections are released here and there. Fashion trends change fast and people also want to be in the know of what is “in” and what is “out.”

At the same time, we are also living in a society that is passionate about a sustainable lifestyle. Question is, would it be possible for these two ideas to co-exist?

But before getting into the discussion, let’s first have some definition of terms.

What is Fast Fashion?

As defined by Merriam-Webster, fast fashion refers to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.

However, fast fashion has environmental implications.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, the fashion industry produces 20% global wastewater and 10% global carbon emissions.

Fast fashion retailers use harmful chemicals and dyes when mass producing clothes. These chemicals end up in oceans and surplus produce end up in landfills or get burnt.

Did you know it takes about 2,000 GALLONS of water to make one pair of jeans?

Last Spring 2017, it was reported that 235 million pieces of clothing ended up in United Kingdom landfills alone.

How much more in the global context?

Thirst For Fashion

Fast fashion is usually fed by Consumerism and Materialism. If there is high demand for trendy but cheap clothes, the more enticed companies are to mass produce supplies.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) plays a significant role in this as well. As people now are defined by their attachment to their smartphones because they do not want to miss out on any trending news, the same goes for not wanting to miss out on the trending clothes.

At some point, we are all guilty of fast fashion. We always want to keep updating our wardrobes and have the “throw-away” culture where we throw out “old” clothes in order to give space for the new ones. This is still another form of wasting.

Slow Fashion

But it is never too late. “Slow Fashion” is a thriving movement which hopes to counter Fast fashion. In a nutshell, the movement advocates everyone to invest in pieces that will last long.

This movement also refers to supporting brands who make use of sustainable materials which are locally-sourced. Not only are you helping the environment but also supporting local apparel enterprises.

Fast Fashion Sustainable?

If companies are able to produce garments using recycled or sustainable materials that would not be hazardous to the environment, it could be possible.

“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” Cree Indian Prophecy

more recommended stories