Fast fashion is the notion of creating low-cost clothes in a rapid-fire production – and it is a problem which needs to change to lessen the impact it has on the environment. Considered the second most polluting industry in the world by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and more than 500 million dollars of textiles ending up in Australian landfill each year (Ross, 2019), experts say measures need to be taken to combat this issue. Measures include clothes rental, better recycling processes, pollution control technology and the innovation of offcuts.
Other harsh statistics many may not know about the textiles industry include its estimated use of water is around 1.5 trillion litres each year – even making a single pair of denim jeans uses over 10 000 litres! Read it again – that much water for only one pair. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said the fashion industry creates 10 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions every year, meaning the cheap clothes selling off the shelves at a rapid pace, are doing more harm than one may think.
If the notion of reducing your fast fashion footprint has been on your mind for a while, here are some ways to reduce it.
Shop with ethical brands
An ethical company is one who treats their workers fairly, in terms of payment and providing a safe environment – all whilst using ethical materials and partaking in honourable practices. Companies with policies in place such as the management of water usage and chemical practices and recycling programs, are all ones you should consider buying from.
Re-use and re-mend
Go through the wardrobe and be surprised at the hidden gems that will appear. If an item has a slight hole or a stuck zip, there are plenty of easy ways to fix or revamp with a simple DIY.
With restrictions eased all around the country, have a fun day out by exploring the local op-shops. The sense of giving clothes a new home and purpose is rewarding – and saves some coin also.