Fast fashion has been on my mind for a long time, and apparently on the minds of others. Just take a look at this piece in the New York Times. What is fast fashion? Simply put – cheap clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.
The reasons to be concerned with the growing fast fashion industry include its negative environmental impact, including water pollution due to the use of toxic chemicals to achieve color, prints and fabric finishes. If that isn’t bad enough, polyester is the most popular fabric used for fast fashion and as it is washed in domestic washing machines, it sheds microfibers (plastics) that run off into our oceans. Additionally, the more we buy, the more we discard – whether in our landfills or as donations to charities. The ramifications of filling our landfills are obvious. Donating clothing may not be. Because there is more cheap, disposable fast fashion, the amount of clothing donated far exceeds the demand with less than 20% of donated clothing sold and what remains going to recycling facilities and ending up in landfills.
It’s time to stop and be responsible and that brings me back to my thoughts about reducing the fast fashion in my wardrobe. This doesn’t mean conducting a clothing purge. What we already have can be kept and worn. What we buy from this point forward is where the brain needs to kick in and our relationship with clothing needs to be analyzed. This goes hand in hand with creating a more cohesive and sustainable wardrobe, so the benefits can be rewarding and long term. We must examine what we have and identify what we really need and remain thoughtful and deliberate about the clothing we buy.
What we buy from this point forward is where the brain needs to kick in and our relationship with clothing needs to be analyzed.
As you consider your closet situation, I will be looking at ways to help reduce our consumption of fast fashion. I’ll get back to you about the fabrics we should buy, who we should be buying from, and whether we really need that article of clothing! Think of the long-term benefits for our planet if a few of us start down the path of thoughtful, sustainable clothing consumption!