The Consequences Of Fast Fashion
Fast Fashion is a business model that cheaply and quickly produces seasonal trendy designs off the runway and markets them to the masses. The word “fast” describes how quickly manufacturers can mass produce cheap, disposable clothing and get them into stores in order to take advantage of current trends. Trendy, cheap and disposable! That sounds amazing doesn’t it? Not so fast! Unfortunately, it is all too common to have pollution and poor labor conditions occurring in the fast fashion industry. Not to mention, it encourages over-consumption and generates excessive hazardous waste. Dive in with us to take a look at how fast fashion is having a negative impact on our planet, our health and on garment worker's lives.
PLASTIC AND MICRO PLASTIC POLLUTION IN OUR OCEANS
Sustainability or sustainable clothing is a core value at Hadobody. Our oceans are essential to life on Earth. They cover more than 70% of the planet’s surface, regulate the climate and supply the oxygen we need to survive. Plastics in our oceans are a pervasive and growing problem. Cheap materials that contain plastics such as polyester, acrylic, nylon and polyamide are often chosen in fast fashion production. Up to 64% of most new synthetic fashion fabrics are petroleum based and are made from nonrenewable fossil fuels.
We shed millions of plastic microfibers every time we wash these toxic materials. These tiny microfibers eventually flow into our oceans as they drain out of our washing machines and are contributing to the increasing amount of plastic waste in our oceans. Sea animals are eating these micro plastics and moving them through our food chain, a phenomenon known as Trophic Transfer. By reducing plastic waste we can preserve our ocean’s health and food producing capabilities and improve our well-being.
As being part of the $2.5 trillion-dollar fashion industry, Hadobody believes that we need to do everything we can to reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint. We aim to protect our oceans from today’s global challenges by primarily using a plant-based and sustainable fabric that is made from self-seeding beech trees, Modal and Micro Modal. We also partner with like-minded suppliers who use innovative materials that are not harmful to our world. It is also our intent to be environmentally-friendly by using 100% compostable cellophane bags, mailers, shipping tape, hang tags and sustainable stickers and mailing labels.
Water is the element associated with the Sacral Chakra. With every purchase from Hadobody’s Sacral Chakra Collection a percent of the profits go directly to our Impact Partner for that collection, Ocean Conservancy. You can be a part of the solution by donating to our Impact Partner, Ocean Conservancy.
In March of 2018, The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, reported that the fashion industry produces 20% of global water waste and is the second highest user of water worldwide.
NSW Environment Protection Authority reported “about 60% of textiles are plastic.”
Green America reported that “over 3 million tons of clothing is incinerated and a staggering 10 million tons is sent to landfills each year.”
Research by the Hubbub Foundation “suggested that 17% of young people questioned said they wouldn’t wear an outfit again if it had been on Instagram.”
“Fashion is responsible for 10 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and uses more energy than the aviation and shipping sectors combined,” reported the Columbia Climate School in June of 2021.
Earth.org reported that “one item of clothing is purchased by the average U.S consumer every 5.5 days and is worn 36% less over its lifecycle, generating 82 pounds of textile waste each year.”
Low-cost, fast fashion clothing, more often than not, is made by approximately 40 million workers around the world who are paid an insufficient amount of money for their time and effort. Many of these workers are child laborers that are working in non-ventilated, unsafe conditions that frequently lead to accidents, injuries and disease. The United Nations Global Compact defines child labour as “work for which the child is either too young - work done below the required minimum age - or work which, because of its detrimental nature or conditions, is altogether considered unacceptable for children and is prohibited.” Child labor, the use of children as servants, is forbidden by law in most countries, however, continues to be prevalent in some of the poorest parts of the world. Furthermore, these exploited laborers often live near waterways that are polluted from toxic chemicals from textile dyeing. According to a Clean Clothes Campaign report in June 2019, “no major clothing brand was able to show that workers making their clothing in Asia, Africa, Central America or Eastern Europe were paid enough to escape the poverty trap.” Hadobody makes sure our workers are assured of a dignified, safe work environment and earn adequate living wages.
15 TIPS TO BE A MORE RESPONSIBLE CONSUMER
Ultimately, the consumers have the power to address and change the social and environmental sustainability issues that are prevalent in the apparel industry. Here are several approaches you can take when addressing fast fashion:
- Become aware and spread awareness about our planet’s synthetic microfiber issues on our environment.
- Resist buying non-eco-friendly, cheap toxic clothes and start investing in high quality, climate-friendly pieces that can be worn over and over again.
- Choose natural and organic eco-friendly fibers that do not require chemicals to be produced. Some sustainable fabrics that can be used in clothing include Modal, Micro Modal, Hemp, Linen, Lyocell, Organic Cotton, and Wild Silk.
- Create a capsule wardrobe featuring a small collection of monochrome or neutral tone garments that are versatile and can be worn in a variety of combinations. Less is more!
- Promote brands that use sustainable materials and have a manufacturing process that respects people, the environment and animals.
- Help reduce textile waste to landfills by going thrifting and buying apparel from secondhand sellers and stores.
- Prevent micro waste pollution entering the world’s oceans by using a Cora Ball Microfiber Laundry Ball or Guppyfriend Washing Bag when doing your laundry.
- Purchase clothing that is designed to be multifunctional, reversible or where elements of the garment can be added or subtracted.
- Avoid unnecessary plastic pollution by taking your own reusable bag when shopping in stores.
- For the clothing you no longer desire, find a good home for those garments by giving them to somebody who will wear them or donate directly to a clothing bank or charity.
- Choose clothes that are manufactured in countries that have stricter environmental regulations such as the USA and Canada.
- Purchase from retailers that manufacture their clothes in clean and safe factories and provide their laborers with living wages and other employee benefits.
- Keep your no longer desirable clothes in the supply chain and transform them into something new and exciting.
- Revive your wardrobe by swapping clothes with friends and family.
- Donate to sustainable fashion charities that assist in transforming fashion into a more sustainable and ethical industry such as Fashion Revolution, Environmental Justice Foundation, Fashion Takes Action, and Re/Make and Slow Factory Foundation.
With Love and Light!
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