Fast Fashion: Impacts on the Environment and Labour practices

Written by Chitra
fast fashion


These last few years have seen a meteoric rise in the popularity of fast fashion. Companies have to cater to consumer tastes in today’s environment of immediate satisfaction and rapidly shifting fashions. Consumers now rarely go without because of cheaper, faster transportation and production technologies. For instance, if you ever find yourself in need of an outfit for an unexpected event, you need only head to your nearest shopping centre or click a few buttons to have a stylish dress and hip pair of boots sent to your door.

That’s because it is too wonderful to be true if that’s what you’re thinking. The proliferation of this economic model has been shown to have negative ethical and environmental consequences, despite its flexibility and adaptability.

Fast Fashion: An Introduction

The term “fast fashion” refers to the inexpensive mass manufacture of the latest fashion trends. Cheap textiles, especially synthetic ones, are used to make garments of this type. Fast fashion is easily available and inexpensive; therefore, its proponent’s reason is that few consumers will notice any negative consequences.


Impact on Workers

In another way, quick fashion raises moral questions because of the unfair treatment of garment workers who earn low salaries. In fact, 85 per cent of the textile industry’s workforce is paid less than $6 per hour. Not to add, most workers put in more than 60 hours a week without getting paid extra for it.

Fast fashion has unintended consequences, such as underpaying garment workers who must put in extra hours to meet retailers’ demands.

Concerns about the negative effects of the fashion industry on the natural world have been raised for decades. The fashion business is the second-largest polluter in the world, immediately behind the oil industry. It appears that each year, environmental damage is done in the name of cheap, mass-produced apparel.

Impacts on Planet

Almost eighty-five per cent of all textiles produced each year are eventually discarded as trash as a result of the fast fashion industry. Furthermore, every second, enough clothing to fill a truck is incinerated or dumped in landfills, thus increasing the industry’s contribution to global warming.

Moreover, the textile manufacturing process is extremely petroleum-heavy. Ten per cent of the world’s carbon emissions can be attributed to the industrial sector. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are very high since most textile mills use electricity generated by burning fossil fuels.

Wrapping up

Should we finally put an end to quick fashion? Instead of filling your shopping cart with trendy items that will be outdated before you can wear them twice, think about investing in a few classic pieces that can be worn year after year and supporting companies who are actively working to lessen their environmental impact.