Fashion as a Polluter
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in our world behind oil. As an industry, it is responsible for 20% of global wastewater and 10% of the global carbon budget. If nothing changes then by 2050 it is set to be responsible for the usage of a quarter of the whole world’s carbon budget (UN Environment, 2018). With the rise of fast fashion, consumers are buying more, paying less but it is the environment paying the true cost. Compared to 20 years ago, clothes production has risen by 400% with 80 billion garments being produced each year. Brands are releasing around 52 micro-collections as opposed to the traditional 2 seasons, in order to keep up with the ever-changing trends and demands of the consumer market (SustainYourStyle, 2017). However, how can we as customers resist a low-cost item, that is so accessible to us? The consumers create the demand for this fast-paced industry and brands find a way to provide it, it is a remarkable process but often an unsustainable one. Brands need to do their part by not only making major changes to their clothing production process to reduce their individual pollution but also to make consumers aware of the situation. Consumers need to be made aware of the impact of their shopping habits and educated on the behavioural changes they can implement. A consumer who has been educated on these matters may then make the conscious decision to not shop with brands who have made no effort to reduce their footprint, therefore creating less of a demand for their products. Multiple this across the globe and we will have a strong demand for sustainable brands, which as a result will reduce the environmental impact of the industry as a whole.
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Sustain Your Style. (2017) Clothes Produced. [Online image] [Accessed 24th September 2019] https://www.sustainyourstyle.org/old-fast-fashion
Sustain Your Style. (2017) Garments Produced. [Online image] [Accessed 24th September 2019] https://www.sustainyourstyle.org/old-fast-fashion
Sustain Your Style. (2017) Micro-Collections. [Online image] [Accessed 24th September 2019] https://www.sustainyourstyle.org/old-fast-fashion
UN Environment. (2018) ‘Putting the brakes on fast fashion.’ [Online] 12th November. [Accessed 24th September 2019] https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/putting-brakes-fast-fashion