Although this chart has UK facts and figures, it’s a great snapshot on the impact of fast fashion in general. It’s about time we as consumers and brands alike shifted to a more sustainable model.
Fast fashion brands produce around two mini-seasons a week in stores! People are addicted to fast fashion. These clothes are disposable and stay in a consumer’s closet for an average of just five weeks, before being thrown out. Don’t throw worn out clothes in the garbage because there are so many more uses for them that you probably haven’t even thought of! See the above article from the Toronto Star, which explains various uses for these rags.
The other thing we should try do more is to shop our closets! We all have those clothes that we like enough to keep that are part of this abyss called our closets that are soon forgotten about after purchasing. Let’s try to reinvent pieces in our closet before rushing to replace them all. It can actually be very therapeutic and fun!
Brands like H&M are trying to close the loop on fashion waste by beginning a recycling program where you can recycle your old clothes at H&M stores and they will make new clothes out of them. This is a step in the right direction of minimizing the pollution in landfills, so I will give them credit for trying to take responsibility for their environmental impact of gross over manufacturing. However, it doesn’t discount the fact that fast fashion is exploitative in its very nature….of our earth’s resources, of people and of consumers. We need to slow it down. Produce stylish quality products in less quantity while respecting people and planet. Support brands that have these ideals built into their very purpose and mission. It’s easy to blame the brands for all of this but they are also driven by consumers purchasing habits, wants and desires. If we shift our thinking and habits they will eventually also have to follow suit.