The Real Cost Of Fast Fashion

The Real Cost Of Fast Fashion

The Real Cost Of Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is the manufacturing of cheap, mass-produced clothes at a very low labor cost. Thus, to make clothes at the cost of enslaving entire communities, in a silly circle of micro-trends. 

In the decades of the ’90s, everyone (some) got the possibility to afford new clothes, easily follow the latest trends, and copy the style of their favorite celebrity.

But in the urge to meet the requirements of the market, many more resources were used than were available. Both natural resources and manpower resources. Generating an unsustainable situation for the environment and communities.

Business Insider says that fashion manufacturing is responsible for 10% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, the same amount as the European Union! It dries up water sources and makes streams and rivers dirty; each year, 85% of all textiles are disposed of.

By now you can imagine the consequences of fast fashion. In this article, we will talk about the real cost of fast fashion and who is actually paying the cost.

The Real Cost Of Fast Fashion

Tons of Waste Every Year… or every day?

Every year, 100 billion clothes are made, but 92 million metric tons are thrown away. Every second, sufficient garment are thrown away to fill a garbage truck. The number of clothes made each year has doubled since the beginning of the 2000s. That's almost 14 pieces of clothing for each individual on the planet.

Environmental Consequences

If the industry maintains its course, an increase of 50% in greenhouse gas emissions is expected within a decade.

Cotton Requires Water

The two main raw materials used by the textile industry are natural and artificial. Cotton is used to make most clothes. A lot of pesticides are used to grow cotton. Although 2.4% of the world's farmland is used to produce crops, it uses 24% of its insecticides and 11% of its pesticides.

Cotton is also the plant that needs the most water. One kilogram of cotton needs between 7,000 and 29,000 liters of water to grow. The environment and the people who live near places where cotton is grown pay a high price for this.

Microplastics In The Oceans

Microplastics from the fashion industry are even worse than plastics from the food or packaging industries. Yes! You read that right.

People love workout clothes, swimsuits, t-shirts made of polyester, acrylic, nylon, and other synthetic fibers, which are made from oil.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature says that polyester blends make up 35% of the microplastics that are disposed of in the ocean. When we wash clothes made from these fibers, they fall apart. Up to 728,000 fibers can come off at once, which can cause them to get into rivers and streams and pollute our ocean and environment.

Fashion Is Carbon-Intensive.

To cut costs as much as possible, most of the fashion industry occurs in different regions. This includes planting crops, making synthetic materials, stitching, dying, and selling clothes. Clothes, especially those sold by stores that sell "fast fashion," travel hundreds of miles by plane or ship to get to their final destination.

This, combined with the massive amount of energy used in both the supply chain and the consumer phase, tends to make for a big carbon footprint.

Social Consequences

Forced & Child Labor

As of June 2021, the U.S Department of Labor found evidence of Child Labor or Forced Labor in some of the following countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Turkey, China, Mexico, Ecuador, India, Russia, and Ukraine.

Lower Humanitarian Standards

As shown in the non-profit Remake, 75 million people are making our clothes today, and 80 percent of apparel is made by young women between 18 and 24.

Workers, make around 96$ per month. It is estimated that a garment worker needs 3.5 times that money to have a ‘decent’ life.

Final Comments

Every year, 100 billion clothes are made, but 92 million metric tons are thrown away. Fashion manufacturing accounts for 10% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. The number of clothes made each year has doubled since the beginning of the 2000s. Fast Fashion is not sustainable and we should all be aware of the consequences of our actions, no matter how small they may seem.

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