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Fashion has always been about staying trendy and wearing either classic items or the ones from a new collection. The concept of fast fashion appeared at the end of the 20th century. The word fast here means that people dispose of the purchased clothes after barely wearing them for various reasons.
- Impulsive buying leads to purchasing a lot of unneeded clothes.
- Fashion trends change more frequently than every season now.
- The items do not fit that well as they felt like in the changing room.
- The fabric is not high quality.
- The chemicals used while manufacturing cause allergies.
- After a couple of washes, the quality deteriorates.
- They didn’t spend a fortune on it, so why not?
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A good item can serve you for years, but unfortunately, we live in a world where wearing the same skirt a couple of times a week can make you a laughing stock. Even if it doesn’t have holes or stains on it and the color is not washed out, you may get a look for it.
As a result of this social pressure, our minds are susceptible to mass hysteria. This leads to the constant change of our wardrobe and thus even more harm to the planet we live on.
Spending Precious Resources
Production of the fiber requires a lot of resources. For instance, synthetic materials demand the use of fossil fuels, and the natural ones, mainly cotton, need a lot of water. The point is, you have to sacrifice something in order to produce the other thing. In addition, whatever material your clothes were made of, they required a lot of energy for production and fuel for shipment.
The production of clothes requires a whole lot of chemicals to be used. Bleachers, dyes, softeners, and much more wild stuff that is used during it are not always subject to responsible waste management. It’s especially relevant for developing countries that produce most of the textiles in the world due to low labor costs.
So, the chemicals soak into groundwater. If the water doesn’t get filtered before it gets to your home tap, eventually, you consume them as well.
Transporting Should Also Be Fast, Right?
Sea shipping isn’t quick, let’s admit it. No one wants to wait for their pants to arrive for weeks—that’s not really acceptable in 2021. Yet, they can wait, can’t they?
The abilities presented by the transportation options spoiled us a bit—okay, a lot. If there’s an opportunity an airplane can deliver all impulsive purchases made by victims of marketing in a day, it will be used. If a rocket could transport the bundle in half an hour, people would prefer it. Eventually, why use that slow cargo ship? Here is why.
According to Sourcing Hub (and actually any study on the topic), one air flight leaves a carbon footprint twelve times bigger than a sea shipment. So, quick air shipment of a new pair of jeans just accelerates the climate change because of our craving to get a piece of clothes as soon as possible.
Neglect of Developing Countries
All of the used and unsold clothes are then sent to the developing countries (if not a landfill). This is one of the main problems masked up as a charity. What really happens is that piles of clothes get pressed together and sent to a third-world country where people are supposed to use all of it. Yet, the truth that might be shocking to some is that the people there do not eat clothes. They don’t need that much, just like any other person on the planet.
So, after the small percentage of the exported clothes is split between the citizens, where should the rest of it go? Imagine, even relatively wealthy countries can’t decently dispose of such wastes. How can the poorest ones do it?
Obviously, it’s dumped wherever possible, and Mother Earth is left to deal with it. As a result, a landfill gets created or, more correctly, relocated to a country where fewer people will care about it. With time, the chemicals mentioned in this article end up in groundwater as well. The environment suffers even more. That’s the final stage of so-called charity.
Whatever doesn’t get recycled or exported ends up in landfills in the developed countries. And here’s what you need to know about the dangers any it presents:
- every kind of garbage gets dumped there, which creates a mixture of toxic and dangerous substances;
- generated methane (a greenhouse gas) contributes to climate change;
- high concentration of methane can lead to fire;
According to the EPA, in 2018, about 17 tons of textile were thrown away and buried in landfills. Now, imagine all of that waste mixed with toxins, chemicals, and methane. All that stuff is flammable.
Without proper waste management, all the new issues arise. So, making the situation even worse by throwing away clothes every month because they are not trendy anymore is simply not considerate.
Taking care of your wardrobe items and buying quality clothes once in a while can be a real saver for our planet. And if you have clothes that should be gone forever or that you simply do not wear because you don’t like them anymore, dispose of them responsibly. You can upcycle them, send them for high-temperature incineration, or give them away for charity. However, be sure to clarify beforehand what exactly is needed and do not dump a pile of poor-quality clothes on someone else.