Fast fashion is the second largest polluted industry in the world. It produces 10% of the world’s CO2 emissions. This is more than the total traffic of planes and ships.

A sense of cognitive dissonance defines a relationship with fast fashion because it recognizes that sitting in Zara’s shirt and reading about environmental harm and unethical labor practices is “hypocritical.” Often.

Well-known environmental psychologist Robert Gifford describes this phenomenon as “mental discomfort caused by holding multiple conflicting beliefs at once.”

Internal harmony is achieved by coordinating one’s thoughts and actions. This doesn’t seem to happen very often in the fashion world.

Therefore, if you are worried about climate change and are concerned about workers’ rights, but this is not always reflected in consumer habits. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

After years of buying a shirt that lasted only three weeks before it became socially unacceptable, and getting excited about buying it, donating or throwing away the clothes you wore only once, you end up with the following: You will notice. This is not the case.

Did you know that one shirt you thrown away was made with 2700 liters of water? This is about the same amount of water you drink in 2.5 years.

It is difficult to reverse the existence of fast fashion, and in fact it has peaked in recent years.

Given that we are in a hurry to keep up with the latest fashion trends, our closets are filled with clothing that has a fashion-approved lifespan of 3 months.

What is fast fashion?

From the consumer’s point of view, fast fashion has three main characteristics. It’s cheap, fashionable, and disposable.

It makes buying clothes easy and affordable with a momentary spur. Shoppers are encouraged to refresh their wardrobe frequently throughout the year to keep up with ever-changing trends.

The problem presented is not for customers who cannot afford the often ridiculous prices of sustainable fashion and / or cannot save, and therefore can hardly buy fast fashion pieces. Rather, half a season lasts for people who spend $ 500 a month to carry Shane.

Labor exploitation

Fast fashion is built on globalization and, like all exploitation sectors, is backed by a low-paying workforce and can be profitable at low manufacturing costs. Its business model thrives on the mass exploitation of individuals that are part of the supply chain.

Workers in the industry are forced to work in low wages, overwork and dangerous situations as a result of low cost fashion.

Globalization shifted garment production from Western Europe and North America to the Global South in the early 1970s.

Formerly a direct employee of a major brand, garment workers have transformed into peripheral companies in a complex global supply chain. As a result, major fashion brands are no longer required by law to pay fair wages or provide employment benefits.

Clothes workers in the Global North and Global South have struggled to achieve their goals for years because of their low exploitative wages.

It’s been almost 10 years since a fire at the Tazuleen fashion factory in Bangladesh killed at least 112 workers in November 2012.

The fire, most likely caused by a short circuit on the first floor, spread rapidly to the ninth floor, trapping clothing workers due to narrow or blocked emergency stairs. Many died in buildings or trying to escape from windows.

Only five months later, the Lana Plaza building collapsed, killing 1,134 sewing workers and injuring hundreds more.

Lana Plaza is an 8-story commercial facility with a garment factory on the upper floors. Factory owners forced workers to return after the crack was discovered, even though the building had been evacuated the day before.

A succession of these two catastrophes, and other disasters at garment factories in South Asia, is the harsh working conditions of the garment industry and the employees who manufacture garments with very low wages and tight deadlines. It highlights the terrifying cost of “fast fashion” for us. Over the next few years, a number of new programs have been launched to improve the safety of the industry and compensate for injured workers and their families.

The Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, signed by more than 200 brands and the Global Union in 2013, is important to make the global garment business accountable for the safety of facilities in the supply chain. I took a big step.

Building inspections, improvements, and closures when the facility is considered structurally dangerous are measures taken to hold brands and merchants contractually responsible for the safety of the factory where the product is manufactured. It is one.

Let’s talk about the environment

Worldwide, a truck full of fiber lands or is burned in a garbage container every second.

Fast fashion produces 10% of the world’s CO2 emissions, which exceeds the combined air and ship traffic and is the second largest polluted industry in the world.

We canceled the straws because we love turtles and now have to live with the inconvenience of paper straws, but 35% of the new microplastics in the ocean come from their production.

Plastic straws make up only about 1% of marine plastic waste.

A kilogram of cotton requires 10,000 liters of water, while a cotton shirt requires about 3,000 liters of water.

Textile dyeing also requires the use of dangerous chemicals that end up in our oceans. This process accumulates over time and accounts for an estimated 20% of the wastewater produced worldwide.

With so many factories relocating abroad, it is possible that the country is in a country with loose environmental regulations, and untreated water can flow into the sea. Unfortunately, the resulting wastewater is highly toxic and often cannot be treated again for safety.

There is also the problem of overproduction in the industry as up to 30% of the products are not sold.

When it comes to reusing their resources, only 1% of textiles are made from old fabrics.

Over 3500 chemicals are used in the production process, of which 750 are harmful to human health and 440 are directly harmful to nature.

Reinventing Shane’s fast fashion

Fast fashion giants have tripled their revenues in three years, earned $ 15.7 billion and are now seeking $ 1 billion in capital and $ 100 billion in valuations.

Shein reportedly adds over 1,000 new outfits to her website every day. As a context, Zara usually has 2,000 products in 30 days. ⁠

[Business of Fashion Report]

Shein’s predictions show a terrifying vision for the future of fast fashion. Fast fashion consumes clothing for less than US $ 5 and buys large quantities each year.

We have become more aware of consumer consumption and have begun to pressure the world’s largest fashion labels to responsibly implement sustainable programs.

However, there is no sustainability measure or transparency surrounding Shein’s production and manufacturing operations, and nonetheless, many people continue to buy from their website every day.

According to The Business of Fashion, part of Shein’s success is a technology-driven approach that uses AI software to import new styles into manufacturing computers via social media and the Internet.

Change starts small

So what can you do as an environmentally friendly consumer, especially if the high-end “slow fashion” labels are out of the average person’s price range, or if the designer store doesn’t offer comprehensive sizing? Is it?

We can try to break our overconsumption cycle.

That means it’s okay to wear clothes multiple times. It also means that individuals must develop a personal style that does not revolve around a constant stream of newness.

It’s not the poor who keep fast fashion in business. A person who buys more than a dozen clothes at once.

It’s not just companies as much as we want them to take all responsibility. Many of the core problems of fast fashion are people wanting to over-consume. This requires a large shift in perspective. We need to focus on longevity, not acquisitions.

This is the beginning Doha News “ In the newly launched Sustainability series, keep an eye on the following articles that explain how to become a more sustainable consumer, even if fast fashion is the only option.

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