10% of the world’s carbon emissions come from the clothing and textile industry, which is the second largest polluter after oil. The rate at which we make, wear, and throw away clothes has already had a huge effect on the environment. If nothing is done, clothing consumption will be responsible for a quarter of our total effect on climate change by 2050.
Fast fashion means making clothes quickly and cheaply so that new trends and styles can be sold in stores and online as soon as possible. This comes at a high cost to society and the environment. By keeping production costs low, they can make their clothes cheap and their advertising campaigns big. They can do this by using cheap labor in unsafe conditions and in countries with bad environmental laws, so they don’t have to worry about any consequences.
- Subject: Environment
- Category: Human Impact
- Essay Topic: Fast Fashion
- Published:16 December 2021
Our culture is based on throwing things away. Within a year, three out of every five pieces of clothing we buy end up in landfills or on fire. Fast-fashion brands keep customers wanting more by showing them what’s new and making them believe they need what they’re selling. This only leads to more textile waste since people don’t donate or recycle the clothes they don’t want anymore; instead, they just throw them away. In fact, a shocking 75% of Britons throw their unwanted clothes into landfills.
Some problems with the fast fashion industry are that it hurts the environment, pollutes water, uses toxic chemicals, and makes more textile waste. After farming, textile dyeing is the second biggest source of pollution in clean water around the world. Fast fashion companies need their products to be made quickly and cheaply, so they don’t care much about how they affect the environment. Greenpeace’s recent “Detox” campaign showed that many brands use toxic and dangerous chemicals in their supply chains. Many of these chemicals are banned or strictly regulated in many countries because they are toxic, bioaccumulative, disrupt hormones, and cause cancer.
Growing cotton on a global scale takes a lot of water and pesticides in places that are already at risk of drought. Some of the chemicals used in cotton farming are very dangerous and can hurt animals and people. In one case, they caused terrible birth defects in the children of Indian cotton farmers. Even though there is more and more interest in organic and sustainable cotton, it is used in less than 1% of the world’s cotton crop, which is not nearly enough given how harmful the cotton industry is.
In conclusion, the fast fashion industry is bad for the environment because it uses unsustainable and unethical methods. The problem is only made worse by our culture of extreme consumerism. People need to open their eyes and stop the cycle for things to change. But for big changes to happen, companies will have to change their ways with their production lines, manufacturing, and “sell, sell, sell” mentality. This isn’t likely to happen unless the consumer forces them to.