When fashion started to take a strange path
Shopping used to be considered an occasional event. Consumers saved to buy new clothes at certain times of the year. But since 2000, something changed. With the drop of garment price. Suddenly, everyone could afford to dress like their favorite celebrity or wear the latest trends fresh from the runways.
It felt great for a while until we started to realize the consequence that was hiding behind this trend.
This constant accumulation of cheap clothes is only possible because of a reduction of production costs. This, in turn, has serious consequences on our health, our planet, and on garment workers’ lives.
1- Garment quality as decline over the past years for the most part, clothes look immediately faded, shapeless or worn out
2- It's almost impossible to follow trend and new collection it's changing so quickly
This is fast fashion : Mass-production of cheap disposable clothing. New collection that keeps on coming to make people buy again and again. The documentary The true cost his pretty eye opening on the subjecy
Fashion one of the most polluting industry in the world
According to many source, fashion come either 2nd, 3rd of 4th in the list of the most polluting industry in the world. Right with the oil and transport industries. We believe one of the best way to change that is awarness if collectively we know more we will be able to make better decisions and have a greater impact.
Clothing has clearly become disposable. As a result more and more waste, in average a family trows away 30kg of clothing to trash every year only 15% are donated or recycled.
When you think that 72% of the fabrics sold use synthetic fibers and that polyester takes 200 years to decompose it's not really good.
What we can do about it?
1- Choose more eco-friendly fabrics
2-Buy less, of better quality and recycle
Chemicals are widely use in the textile industry. They are used during the fiber production, dyeing, bleaching and process of each garment.
Many that end up in waterways. These chemicals, which can affect humain and animals health.
What can we do about it?
1- Choose organic fiber
2- Look for certification like GOTS OEKO-TEX
The fashion industry account for 10% of global carbon emission. Why is that? Mainly due to high energy needed during production, manufacturing and transportation.
Because most of the garments produced are made of synthetic fiber made from fossil fuel.
Also the main production is done in countries essentially powered by coal one of the dirtiest type of energy in relation with carbon emissions.
What we can do?
1- Choose natural fibers
2- Buy less buy, better quality and recycle
3- Look for garment made in country powered by more renewable energy
In most country where garment are produce untreated toxic water waste are dumped directly into rivers.
Those substance can be extremely extremely harmful to the aquatic life and the health of millions of people living by those river banks.
Another source major source of water contamination are the fertilizers used for the cotton production.
If you want to know more take a loot at the documentary River Blue
What can we do about it?
1- Choose garment made in country with strict regulations
2- Choose organic fabrics
We have known for ages that most of the workers in the industry work in areas where they have limited rights. we often hear company say it's better then nothing in a certain way it is not totally false. But we can also say that they are making money and exploiting poor populations who have not choice to work for any salary.
We often see that when conditions improve in one country, company move their production to another.
Many brands reassure their clients that the manufacturer that makes their product pays at least minimum wage. If you have to advertise it, unfortunately, it is that lots of workers in the industry are not getting minimum wage.
The other problem is that they advertise that but in most of the countries where they make their clothes minimum wage represents a fifth of the living wage. The living wage is the bare minimum that a family needs to fulfill their basic needs (food, education, healthcare…) So basically, most of the brands brag about the fact that they are paying the workers 5 times less than they really need to live in dignity…
For example according to the clean clothes campaign
China min wage 174.60 euro but living wage was 376.07 euro stats 2013
Bangladesh min wage is 49.60 euro but living wage was 259.80 euro stats 2013
Employees usually work with no ventilation, breathing in toxic substances, inhaling fiber dust or blasted sand in unsafe buildings. Accidents, fires, injuries, and disease are very frequent occurrences on textile production sites.
How to contribute to change?
As consumers, we have a huge role to play in combating the negative effects of fashion by changing the way we buy. You can find clothes at very attractive prices while limiting its impact on the environment.
But if sustainable fashion, second-hand clothing, and other alternatives are increasingly available, the onus should not rest solely on consumers. Companies must take responsibility for their actions and governments must enforce regulations that hold industry accountable for the damage it causes.
What are the alternatives to fast fashion?
You may be aware, at this stage of the article, of the impact of fast fashion on the planet... You would like to consume in a more ethical way, but you don't know how? We have a solution for you!
Slow fashion, what is it? 🌱
"Consume less, but consume better" : this is how we could sum up "slow fashion"! The concept opposes “fast-fashion”, encouraging us to invest in better quality, eco-designed and sustainable clothing. Clothing rental, short production and distribution circuits, are examples of practices linked to this new way of conceiving fashion.