Social and Environmental Impacts of the Fast-Fashion Industry

Social and Environmental Impacts of the Fast-Fashion Industry

The fashion industry has been one of the most polluting industries on the planet, affecting our water, air and land.  Fast fashion has been used in recent years as a strategy for the consumer to have a new trend to buy.  There're brands that replace their designs in short periods of time, creating a sensation of scarcity in the client. It is estimated that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global emissions and 20% of global waste water. 

Did you know that to make a single pair of jeans around 3,400 liters of water is needed?

Yes, my dear reader!  About 3,400 liters for a pair of jeans is a lot.  Especially when the water used in the manufacture of these textile fabrics returns to rivers, lakes, oceans and soils polluted.  About 20% of polluted water comes from global textile production, which is responsible for using some 9 trillion chemicals, according to the World Bank.  Chemicals that are dangerous both for the environment and for the health of the people who work in the plantations and factories, and even for the people who wear these mass-produced garments.

The thing with these fast-fashion garments is that the more production, the less time, that is, the lower quality.  Resulting in garments made of materials such as polyester, for example, a synthetic fiber derived from petroleum that, although it offers a range of manufacturing possibilities due to its durability and light weight, is not sustainable since it takes about 500 years to completely decompose.  It is estimated that 30% of plastic debris in the ocean is textile microfibers that come off when washing clothes.

This is precisely one of the big problems of fast-fashion, fashion waste in water, air and landfills.  Impulse purchases promote mass manufacturing, which ends up with some 92 million tons of textiles thrown into landfills each year.  95% of these textiles discarded each year could be recycled, reused or repaired.

Your purchasing decisions have power and condition the sellers of these products. That's why we always emphasize that empowerment starts with you.  Become a change agent and buy responsibly!  We understand that sometimes it is difficult because fast-fashion is cheaper than sustainable fashion or it is a little more difficult to achieve, but think that with your purchase you are not only pampering yourself and helping a business to grow, but you are also contributing to the conservation of the environment for future generations.

Remember that there are also second-hand stores and groups that meet to exchange clothes. And if you don't feel like going to strangers, create your own group with trusted family and friends to exchange clothes that you no longer wear. Globally, it is estimated that only 12% of the material used for clothing ends up being recycled.

Adopt a new habit; As a consumer you can change your behavior by looking at the materials of the products, by recycling, upcycling or swapping clothes, or by buying quality neutral clothes to match.

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