When we think of the fashion industry, we imagine the Devil Wears Prada, runways, sparkling dresses and strawberry champagne. But behind the glamour are severe environmental impacts and health and women’s right issues. Fast Fashion is the term used for companies creating garments produced and priced at dirt cheap. They imitate catwalk styles and churn products in large volumes to monetise on current trends.
It hurts the environment
The harm starts at the start. Right from the beginning of fast fashion production, factories dump toxic wastewater and micro plastics into rivers and pump greenhouses gases into the atmosphere. These seep into our agricultural systems, contaminating our food chains.
Another major consequence is that these products move from shopping bags to landfills just as fast as they are produced. In fact, enough garbage trucks of clothes are sent to landfills to fill 1.5 Empire State Buildings every single day. The industry comprises 10% of total global carbon emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions of the entire European Union. This makes fast fashion the second biggest polluter industry in the world, second only to big oil.
It’s a women’s rights issue
If a burning planet still isn’t enough to ditch large-corporation retail craze, we’ve got more! Fast fashion poses societal problems: millions of women and young girls work in horrible conditions for unlivable wages, facing all kinds of abuse. Especially in developing countries, 80% of apparel is made by young women in the age range of 18-24. They are constantly exposed to toxic chemicals, sexual abuse, child labour, factory fires, collapses, accidents and wages that are 3-5 times lower than the amount needed to live a decent life with basic facilities. Rapid production and profits supercede human welfare at every turn.
You subconsciously hate it too
Fast fashion primarily exists because companies focus their enormous budgets feeding the shopping-spree hype, instead of on quality or safe working conditions. The result: bags full of clothes that you bought in a trance and don’t really wear. Addressing this consumer mindset created by the fashion industry would provide a $192 billion overall benefit to the global economy by 2030
What can we do?
We have to realise that the reason these fast fashion companies are thriving is because we give them our money. We need to cut off their original source: the demand. We aren’t asking you to compromise on your style. We’re simply asking you to redirect your consumption for the same style towards a circular model. We need a sustainable solution to give us our shopping rush yet spare the consequences.
With thrifting, you’re purchasing all the same products that you would at retail shops. Except you’re buying them from small business owners and young people cleaning out their wardrobe, instead of the retailer. Since you demand less from them, they’ll be forced to make less and introspect about why customers are turning away. They’ll realise that the modern customer wants the clothes on their back to show off more than just their style. That’s why we’re trying to bring you with each package here at Attic: thrifting represents your values as a conscious consumer.
And you know, it doesn’t hurt that this package bringing moral feel-good, saving the planet and standing up for unfair labour practices also brings a gorgeous dress at 75% off the original price :))