Fast Fashion, it's just not working for Earth!
What is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing, that takes ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into clothing in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand (Rauturier, 2020). This way the newest styles are available as soon as possible, at low prices but often low quality, so they are discarded much faster.
The problem with fast fashion is its lack of sustainability
Fast Fashion is one of the worlds biggest polluters. McKinsey notes:
The number of garments produced annually has doubled since 2000 and exceeded 100 billion for the first time in 2014: nearly 14 items of clothing for every person on earth.
Zara offers 24 new clothing collections each year; H&M offers 12 to 16 and refreshes them weekly.
The sustainability impact of clothing continues after consumers leave the store. Washing and drying 1 kilogram of clothing over its entire life cycle, creates 11 kilograms of greenhouse gases, an amount that companies could reduce by altering fabrics and clothing designs.
Just in 2018, Burberry burned £30m worth of stock rather than selling to cheaply in order to maintain its exclusivity.
It is estimated that only 1% of our clothing is ultimately recycled into new garments, the rest may end up in a landfill instead!
Ultimately, this problem can only fix if we consumers changes our attitudes and spending habits. If we lower demand, these large corporations won't be able to use this environmental disaster for profit.
This problem isn't going to solve itself over night and even we at FK are guilty of contributing to this ever increasing problem. The key is to try and make a small change overtime, leading to a big change.
So stay tuned over the next few weeks. We'll be discussing everything about fast fashion, and ending our mini series with how we can make meaningful changes as individuals.