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What You Haven't Been Told About Fast Fashion

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Today, social media controls numerous aspects of our lives. We are constantly watching what others do, say, support, do not support, look like, and specifically what they wear. Not only is this overwhelming for the mind when you cannot achieve a certain look, but it is hard on your bank account, and most importantly the planet. It was stated by the House of Common Environmental Audit Committee that, “Textile Production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined.” The process of Fast Fashion is destroying our planet, and doing so at a rapid rate.


For me, when I wake up in the morning, I instantly open my phone and hop on Instagram to see what I have missed while catching some shut-eye. I see outfits, models, and ads for clothing constantly, and wish I had those items in my hands. Style icons like the Hadid sisters, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, and so on, set the tone for many young women around my age. They wear exotic clothing and they wear it well. Many young people, including myself, want to achieve that look. Therefore trends catch on, and brands become aware of the hype of certain styles and products. Their goal is to sell goods that are in high demand, and to make the highest profit possible by doing so. They begin to draw up designs revolving around the popular looks, aesthetics, and trends during that time, and presenting them to their teams. They then get their ideas approved and sent to manufacturers.


There is a huge problem however with Fast Fashion; It revolves around trends that go in and out of style fast, yet when they are in style, they fly off the shelves. Therefore, brands are submitting MASS orders to manufacturers to be fulfilled. The orders take time to be manufactured, and fulfilled, and put in the hands of the businesses. If the item was available for pre-order a lot of the time by the time this process is over and the items have been shipped, the trend will be out of style and most individuals will be on to the next trend. People who have purchased this item let it sit in their closet, until one day they throw it away. This is why the process is a nasty cycle of waste.

Most of the clothing made by these brands is made of micro-plastics like nylon, polyester, and acrylic since they are cheap materials to acquire. However, they take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Not to mention the factories that produce these items emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which highly contributes to the breakdown of the ozone layer. Wastewater from the factories where the garments are produced, often dump the water, filled with toxic chemicals from the production process in nearby creeks and rivers, killing or severely harming the animals living within the bodies of water, and also killing surrounding plant life. Synthetic fibers are also made from fossil fuels, which means that we are using up resources that could be preserved for energy much faster than we should be. Since most of these manufacturers are in countries like China, Bangladesh, India, which run on coal-fueled power sources, the amount of pollution is very high since coal power is the dirtiest form of power source.



Companies like Zara, Shein, Zaful, Revolve, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Hollister, Brandy Melville, American Eagle Outfitters, and Free People are all very popular brands, yet are the epitome of fast fashion. It's tempting...they have cute items for good prices. However, you are feeding the fast fashion industry when you buy from these brands and encouraging them to continue their harmful ways. Purchasing from them once or twice isn't too harmful, but if everyone has this mindset then it very well could be. It's also easier to make an excuse for yourself saying, "I've bought from them before, once more won't make that much of a difference." But this cycle of thinking can be dangerous in terms of enabling this behavior. Our Earth is more important than having one specific item of clothing in your closet that you will only wear a couple of times before it goes out of style.

If you have been wondering how you can help solve this problem and contribute less to the mass consumption of resources and the amount of textile waste in our landfills I am here to help. To begin, try shopping at local businesses and boutiques. They usually carry lesser-known brands, and those are usually the ones who do not feel the need to produce mass amounts cheaply and quickly because the demand from their private lines is less than gigantic public fashion lines. Instead of throwing your clothes away, ask a friend or family member if they could find use in those items, donate them to thrift stores, or homeless shelters, or even upcycle them if you are skilled in sewing. Upcycling is the act of taking apart items

of clothing and using their parts to create a new style, design, or item. Be conscious of the blend of materials used in the production of your articles of clothing. Refrain from buying the items if they include materials like nylon, polyester, or acrylic, or other materials that come from plastic.

I urge you to listen to what I explained to you in this text. I'm not saying I am perfect in this sense in any type of way, or that I don't experience any temptation to buy from brands like Zara and Brandy Melville. In fact in you look on my Instagram page you will find articles of clothing from both of those brands. And I'm not saying I won't ever purchase from those brands again. But what I am saying is I am going to start making conscious efforts to not do so as often, which is something I hope you choose to do as well. Maybe even make it one of your New Year's Resolutions for 2022! We all need to kindly hold each other accountable :) Our planet should be our number one priority, and our fashion sense should follow close behind, but only if in an environmentally sustainable manner. It's easy to adjust your ways, and I ask you to join me in doing so, so we and our fellow friends here on Earth can enjoy our beautiful planet for as long as possible!


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3 Comments


this is sooo well written

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Finally understand the term “fast fashion” - muchas gracias!

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AMAZING!!!! So proud. Feeling…inspired 🥰🥰🌈

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