‘Fast fashion’ harms the planet

Yes, I said it. Please spend more money on clothes if you’re going to buy anything at all. Why? Because “fast fashion” is the second largest pollutant in the world after oil.

Fast fashion is a contemporary term of expediting production processes at all costs to get trends to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible, similar to fast food.

Yes, you can donate your clothes to Goodwill or Salvation Army, but most of it isn’t sold because of the clothes’ condition. The average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes each year.

Fast fashion brands such as Forever 21 and Primark sell “trendy” clothes and roll out dozens of new collections every year, feeding into this epidemic of consumerism.

They sell average clothes at prices Americans can afford, myself included.

Providing beautiful articles of clothing at a cheap price is not the major problem – careless consumerism is the major problem.

Americans value having an abundance of clothing. We always need more no matter the cost.

Don’t get me wrong – cheap deals are great, but is your $5 shirt worth all the negative effects?

According to an article by My Green World, the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan, the fourth largest lake in the world, has been rapidly drying up due to the amount of water cotton needs to grow – the cotton used to make that $5 shirt at Forever 21. You can see how careless consumerism impacts more than just your bank account.

Stop buying clothes just for their affordable price. I’m sure we all have more than enough compared to the rest of the world. As college students, we can’t afford expensive articles of clothing but we can buy staple pieces that we can wear more often.

Although some fast fashion retailers such as Forever 21, Zara and Primark still do not show any signs of shifting into a sustainable and fair-trade brand, some retailers are realizing the impact of their actions.

They now understand that the dyes for their textiles and the pesticides used to grow cotton are killing rivers and oceans.

H&M launched their Conscious Collection in 2012 and Mango recently committed to several projects that deal with environmental responsibility.

One way to check if a certain fast fashion retailer is committed to produce better quality products is to go on their website and find the section that talks about their company’s ethics.

About Giovanna Berrocal

Opinion Editor

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