It’s no secret that there has been a massive rise in both the production and the consumption of clothes over that last decade. I have to hold my hands up and admit that I’ve been a contributing factor to the over-consumption of clothes and fast fashion over my lifetime, and even more so in the recent years since becoming a blogger. I have always loved clothes and I love sharing my recent outfits on my social media platforms but this comes at a cost, and it’s a price I’m no longer willing to pay. Whilst trying to avoid this blog post being the most depressing thing posted to the internet I wanted to strip back all the rumours/ gossip about fast fashion and talk about the impact fast fashion is having on our world and the people who live in it.
The world now consumes around 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is 400% more than the amount we consumed just two decades ago. The fashion industry used to run on a cycle of two seasons, spring/summer and autumn/winter. It’s now said that in the world of clothing there are 52 seasons a year. This constant stream of new trends is one of the main reason we are seeing such a rise in the amount of clothes people are buying. We are constantly being told what is ‘on trend’ and therefore feel the need to be buying the latest thing that lines the racks of our high street shops.
One pair of jeans takes 2,700 litres of water to make, that’s equivalent to what an average person drinks over the course of 2 and a half years! This staggering fact is only made worse by the fact that 2 billions pairs of jeans are produced every year, it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that is a vast amount of water. The dyeing process of much-loved clothes leaves 1.7 million tonnes of various chemicals that aren’t used. Then there are hazardous chemicals like PFCs that are used which cause permanent damage to our environment. Something that came as a shock to me was the damage caused by the cotton industry. Cotton makes up 43% of all clothing and the production process of this seemingly harmless material includes pesticides used in cotton farming and toxic dyes in manufacturing. Not to mention a massive amount of water and other natural resources that we are rapidly running out of.
Now I’ve divulged the hard truth it’s time we did something about it. I wanted to start with this post as an introduction to talking about this undoubtedly massive problem with today’s society, but not to fear there are ways we can prevent the damage from going further. I have been working on a number of different posts to help motivate and inspire both myself and you guys into making a change as to how we view the fashion industry. This post is merely scratching the surface at the damage that fast fashion is having on our planet. I haven’t even touched on the plastics used for packaging or the other unsustainable materials that line our wardrobes. If you want to delve deeper into the facts and figures on fast fashion and what it is doing to our planet (and I strongly suggest you do), have a watch of these documentaries: The True Cost, The Minimalist. I know this has been a bit of a heavy post, but as I mentioned all is not lost, we can still turn it around. I have lots of posts sat in my drafts ready to share my tips and tricks as to how I have adopted a more sustainable way of living, so stay tuned for those. Thanks for reading!