FAST FASHION/ SUSTAINABLE FASHION
WHAT IS FAST FASHION?
In the 1980s, fashion developed a model for manufacturing clothes based on the “quick response” concept. This gave rise to market-based models which set the standard for fast fashion in the late 1990s. This coincided with Zara’s arrival in New York and shaped fashion's modality: their mission was to take only 15 days for a garment to go from the design stage to being sold.
Ever since then, the fashion industry has been incredibly detrimental to the planet and its inhabitants.
Clothing production has doubled in 15 years.
FAST FASHION CHAINS MAKE 1 MILLION GARMENTS ON A DAILY BASIS, CLOTHES ARE 7 TIMES CHEAPER THAN 70 YEARS AGO.
Fast fashion is the second-largest water user worldwide, producing 20% of the global water waste.
Fast Fashion accounts for 20 to 35 percent of microplastic flows into the ocean.
TEXTILE PRODUCTION CONTRIBUTES MORE TO CLIMATE CHANGE THAN AIRLINES AND SHIPPING COMBINED
Fast fashion generates 10% of all carbon emissions.
The main goal of fast fashion is to lower production costs. For this reason they neglect all sustainability efforts. Majority of brands are still using non-biodegradable fabrics, which fully process chemicals, and throw their production waste into water streams, lakes, and oceans.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION?
Over the past 25 years, we cannot say that we have not made any improvements at all. At least awareness has been inflicted on all businesses around the world. Many have jumped to the opportunity taking advantage of the climate urgency to sell to companies new business models which now include recycling, resale, rental, reuse, and repair, marketed as environmental life savers. Innovation has been very nuanced, and i’m afraid that to simplify the action towards such complex topics as either solely positive or negative is derogatory and uncooperative.
What is constructive and conductive is to constantly ask what can be done to move forward and to trust in ESG despite its many failures. ESG has proposed opting for bio-based materials, recycling, and “rent-the-runway” which are all seemingly failed, but only if we think of sustainability as existing on a spectrum. The majority of strategies will not solve any issues however whatever can be a bit more sustainable even though it is not entirely is better. Below, I will investigate how many solutions have and will continue to help even though the immediate impact on the environment is not observable. Before I will attempt to define what ethical and sustainable fashion is as well as the crucial concept of greenwashing.
Ethical fashion is a term related to the conscious consumerism world because it refers to garments produced in ways that valued social and environmental welfare as well as workers rights. Environmentalism is synonymous with socially equitable practices. So the fashion industry plays a huge role in being an activist in environmental, social, economical issues. Ethical and sustainable fashion goes hand in hand. Nothing unethical is capable of being sustained, in other words could never be considered sustainable. The word sustainable is defined as “capable of being sustained.”. Hence, a sustainable fashion industry is defined by an operation whose design can continue working for years and decades to come. Today’s fast fashion which dominates the modern fashion industry depletes the Earth’s natural resources, exploits workers around the world, and is one of the biggest sources of waste in the world, as it persists to intentionally design clothing that needs to be consumed fast and at cheap prices. This leads to the creation of a collective mentality that commodities are disposable and drive continuous, mindless consumption. To view everything as disposable means we stop caring for our possessions since we can replace it whenever. We become careless, unable to recognize the value of things, the time and human hands that were required for almost everything that we own and use everyday. We are indirectly dehumanizing the workers who create the clothing the majority of us wear. It is worthwhile to mention that this was also one of the things that make us human and different from AI is this adoration for craftsmanship and respect for artists and their creative process.