By: Ajmal Abdirahman & Mushtaq Yonis
Are you aware of the manufacturers of the clothes you’re wearing right now? Do you recall where your clothing was made or how much you spent for them? Is fast fashion always the best option? Is it safe for the planet and our environment? Should we keep purchasing from fast fashion? Many people don’t think about these questions which is why these are some of the things you should consider asking yourself.
People should not purchase fast fashion because of overconsumption, child labor, and pollution.
The first reason why we should not purchase fast fashion is because of overconsumption. People usually tend to buy way too many clothes and items that aren’t necessary because things are cheap, affordable, and easy to access. Fast fashion allows people to buy cheap and trendy clothing that they’ll later end up discarding after a few wears.
Fast fashion falls into the idea that outfit repeating is lame and that if you want to stay trendy or relevant you have to achieve the latest looks as they happen.
Fast fashion causes pollution, slowly killing our planet everyday. Did you know, according to Good On You’s website, fast fashion is the second fastest polluter; oil is the first. Fast fashion’s impact on the planet is massive. It pollutes the world’s waters and creates carbon emissions which are very harmful to our planet. This includes the overuse of cheap toxic textile-dyes, making the fashion industry one of the largest polluters of clean water globally.
Many cheap textiles increase the impact of fast fashion. Fabrics like polyester, microfibers, and conventional cotton result in so many global warming disasters. Is it okay to continue this? To worsen the damage?
Child labor is sadly another reason why we shouldn’t purchase fast fashion. Factories like SHEIN (an online clothing store) that’s recently risen to popularity in the past 3 years, Zara and H&M, which are other major giants in the fast fashion field, often use low skilled child labor. They all, including many more, use that to their advantage so children in these factories can be exploited at a young age. As much as there is an environmental cost of fast fashion, there’s a human cost that comes along with it.
The risk of poor human environmental issues include poor labor conditions, and the people/kids who make the clothes get paid very little. In some countries, children working 16 hours a day 7 times a week only make enough money to buy a meal a day.
The fast fashion industry is widespread with low wages, long work hours, inhumane working conditions. Additionally, sexual abuse, and physical assaults also occur as reported about on Shared-impact.com.
Countries such as Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, are great examples of these horrendous fast fashion practices.
The reason why people like to purchase fast fashion is that it’s cheaper for people who may not be able to afford much. The affordable prices and instant satisfaction for consumers, leads to more profits for companies, and the standardization of stylish clothing.
Instead of relying constantly on fast fashion, you can try shopping second hand because thrift shopping is affordable, yet it doesn’t harm our environment as much making it an amazing alternative to fast fashion. There are many other alternatives to this, such as buying clothes from ethical and sustainable brands.
People should try not to purchase fast fashion because of the many downsides to it that include overconsumption, child labor, and pollution. If consumers continue to try to buy less and consume less, that will be the first step we can all take to prevent many disadvantages.
Remember, 10% of global carbon emissions dry up water sources and pollute rivers and streams, while 85% of all textiles go to dumps each year.
Fast fashion is affecting the whole planet and if we continue to purchase more and more items this will have a big impact on our environment. Fast fashion is unethical and hard on the environment. It is responsible for huge textile waste, water, air, soil pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Large amounts of resources are being removed and clothes sent to landfills due to fast fashion. If we don’t try to help our planet now who will?
For more information, please visit:
- “What Is Fast Fashion and Why Is It So Bad?” January 20, 2023: https://goodonyou.eco/what-is-fast-fashion/
- “The True Cost of Fast Fashion” July 28, 2022: https://www.shared-impact.com/perspectives/the-true-cost-of-fast-fashion/
- “5 Alternatives to Fast Fashion” By Phillip, November 17, 2021: https://borgenproject.org/alternatives-to-fast-fashion/
- “Fast Fashion Explained and How It Impacts Retail Manufacturing” By Hayes, January 16, 2023: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fast-fashion.asp?scrlybrkr=df0f6b1b