I had to share these excerpts from some articles I've read recently on Fast Fashion and the impact it has on us and the environment.
Perhaps, as in the case of fast food, fast fashion is yet another degredation of our quality of life.
"Cheap fashion, " says Liz Jones, "like cheap, factory-farmed salmon and chicken, has stripped away any notion we had of something being luxurious or in any way special . It has devalued all our lives, making us ever more dissatisfied, always wanting more." More prosaically, everybody looks the same. Sure, we all have in mind the ideal of the inventive fashionista, effortlessly and creatively mixing high and low fashion into one dazzlingly chic whole. But the reality is that we are far more homogenous in our distinctively-printed designer knockoffs than we would be in simpler basics. The idea of high style comes to us pre-packaged, complete with eclectic jewelry and accessories, and I'm guessing this paradoxical illusion of the unique is at the expense of individual creativity.
The increase in the amount of clothes people consume also has consequences for the environment. More clothing is shipped and flown from the Far East to Europe than ever before and the life cycle of these garments is decreasing.
– One cotton T-shirt requires seven bathtubs of water to make. For every tonne of textile produced, the industry pollutes about 200 tonnes of fresh water — in a year, that’s the equivalent of more than five million Olympic-size pools.
– The average North American discards more than 30 kilograms of clothing annually.
Patti @ NotDeadYet Style says
This resonates with me (from Liz Jones): “But the reality is that we are far more homogenous in our distinctively-printed designer knockoffs than we would be in simpler basics.” So many “top-tier” bloggers are indistinguishable to me — lovely, but so many repetitions of the latest J Crew trends. I really enjoy my small wardrobe, about half of it thrifted, for the creativity it demands of me. I adore your wardrobe because you bring your artist’s eye to it.
And if I have $100 to spend on style, I’d much rather buy a cool bracelet to wear every day, than five “quick” tee shirts. I didn’t know how inefficient it was to make tee shirts!
One of the most memorable books I read in college is “Where am I wearing?” by Kelsey Timmerman–the gist of it is that this guy decided to travel around the world and attempt to visit the exact factories that made the clothes he wore and learn more about the real happenings of the clothing industry. There does seem to be a lot of shady stuff going on in the fast, cheap fashion industry–it’s worthwhile to put a little more research and thought into what you buy and don’t buy!
Val Sparkle says
This is important information for everyone to learn. And it’s not just clothes – people have a lot more crap in their house than they used to because everything’s so cheap. It’s fast fashion for decorating, too. I hate to think of all waste, not to mention the pollution of moving things all around the world.
Very sobering, isn’t it? The thing that I hate most is the mountains of Primark/H&M/George clothing I see at car boot sales, still with the tags on and priced at less than £1.
It makes me sick to think that those discarded clothes were manufactured at the Rani Plaza in Bangladesh where so many people lost their lives.fast fashion is as throwaway as those poor garment workers’ lives. Still people insist of buying from those companies and bloggers still proudly announce how cheap their finds were. xxx
Aya in Couturgatory says
The fast fashion industry and disposable utensils always make me think about the weird price of oil. A barrel of crude now costs around $55 US, which in Caloric expenditure, would equal roughly 11 slave years- if you had a person physically laboring at tasks.
And that is why it’s somehow cheaper to dig this stuff out of the ground, refine it, send it overseas to be shaped, then ship it halfway around the world to North America, distribute it, and have a plastic fork at lunch, instead of washing a reusable fork.
You may well have already read/heard of it, but if you haven’t, I like this article on Elizabeth Cline’s book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (http://consumerist.com/2012/06/20/where-do-all-your-used-clothes-end-up/) It talks about how even the vast majority of donated clothes aren’t sold, and end up being compacted into bales and shipped *back* overseas to used clothing sellers in Africa and Asia.
Too true. Fast disposable everything is rampant.
That is one of the reasons I love thrifting/consignment store shopping. It requires a creative mind and bonus! you’re saving the environment at the same time.
It has been sobering reading up on this.
I couldn’t click through on that link.
I had heard about that book though.
I didn’t know that donated clothes are shipped overseas. I suppose it’s good at least someone uses it and it doesn’t end up in landfills but there is another carbon footprint to deal with. It just makes a person’s head spin.
Happiness at Mid Life says
I am so guilty of over consumerism when it comes to clothes. I seriously think I have a shopping addiction and this month, I am going to do my best not too shop. I tried setting a budget and that didn’t seem to work. I think maybe if I research more about fast fashion, it may help alter the way I think and maybe I can focus my energy elsewhere.