Fast Fashion leaves a massive footprint on our environment and one that cannot be erased easily. The fashion industry is said to be one of the biggest contributors to pollution around the world. #ThinkWithNiche
Technology has progressed to new heights as time has passed. Transportation, communication, building, education, and even fashion have all changed dramatically. For one thing, they all depend heavily on technology and machines that destroy the environment. Some causes are obnoxious and go overlooked, while others are sublime and go unnoticed.
Fast fashion's negative effects fall under the latter category. Fast Fashion is a term used to refer to affordable clothes. It was launched as a substitute for expensive fashion items. Although fast fashion made fashion cheap and the worldwide clothing market grew substantially, it all began to take a huge toll on our environment. Since buyers increased, the demand for cheap clothes began to rise leading to a rise in manufacturing. Stats show that demand for garments went up by 60% in 2014. Even if we account for the population growth, 60% is a lot. It is estimated that the fashion industry accounts for 10% of total carbon emissions.
We haven't even scratched the surface and things already look scary. The fast Fashion industry is one of the largest industries in the world and yet its scathing effects on the environment remain understated. Consumers don't know that although cheap garments don't burden their wallet, it leaves a deeper impact on the world. Let's learn about some of the scariest effects Fast Fashion has on the environment.
1. Straight to Garbage-
While people buy more garments today, they keep them for half as long. Since the idea of fast fashion is about making cheap clothes that are brought frequently, people don't feel guilty about getting rid of their clothes. This creates a problem of recycling since not many companies recycle clothes. In total 85% of the textiles go into the dumping ground each year. This can fill up the whole of Sydney Harbor.
2. Water Contamination-
Fashion is all about textiles and chemicals and the coming together of it. The manufacturing of a single piece of the garment itself releases toxic and hazardous substances into the water. The main chemical that is used in the manufacturing of garments is carcinogenic which is extremely harmful to animals as well as humans. This is nothing compared to how much toxins dye products and colored fabrics leave. They are the second-largest contributor to water pollution, right after agriculture.
3. Water Shortage-
Yes, the Fashion industry has played a huge role in the freshwater scarcity that we are facing right now. Clothes require a lot of water during the manufacturing phase. Many environmental activists have been raising their voices, trying to highlight the harmful effects of fast fashion but they all have fallen over deaf ears.
4. Underpaid Labour-
The reason why fast fashion is so cheap is that it is manufactured by cutting costs wherever it's possible. This is perhaps the crudest practice in the fashion industry. Most people who work at the garment manufacturing factories are some of the lowest-paid workers across the globe. They work on minimum wages and sometimes even below that. To add to their misery is the fact that most of them work under extreme and unhealthy conditions.