Yes, fast fashion makes it more affordable, but at what cost? It’s our people and the environment that’s paying.
We only have one planet. And we need to make the most of it, not only for us but for the other inhabitants, as well as the future generations.
The world has a huge pollution problem, that’s no secret. And the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors. The production of garments in the fast fashion cycle has a negative impact on water, air and soil, and it’s up to us as consumers to demand change.
How we live and the choices we make have a massive influence on our environment. Especially now, when we can clearly see the consequences of climate change.
It is obviously easier to go to a retail store or order something from a popular brand. But have you actually ever wondered how your clothes are produced and what impact on the environment they have? Not only when they lay in your wardrobe but also after you get rid of them.
Just because they go to landfill doesn’t mean that’s where your garments end their life. It might take 20 to even 200 years for a synthetic piece of clothing to decompose. Scary, isn’t it?
It’s time to stop being selfish and follow the more sustainable route. Even though sometimes selfishness comes out of the lack of knowledge.
But there are a few things you can do to get out of the state of eternal bliss and turn on the awakening. The good first step to help the planet is improving our purchasing habits. The other one is educating ourselves and others.
With a few simple steps, you can make a difference. Still not sure how? Carry on reading to find out.
Defining the fashion problem It is crucial to understand that overconsumption and overproduction will always have a negative impact on the planet. The use of synthetic materials, different blends, and even natural materials requires large amounts of water. Looking at ever-so-popular cotton, if not sustainably sourced, it is a highly water-intensive plant can make you rub your eyes. According to WWF it can take up to, wait for it... 2,700 liters of water to make just one simple cotton T-shirt! And brands worldwide produce and sell over 2 billion of these each year.
And that’s not even all of it. Unsustainable production of cotton consumes a lot of agricultural chemicals and pesticides. The wastewaters from textile factories dumped to the rivers can cause serious harm to our ecosystem.
What can I do? Be more aware. Don’t turn your head. Ultimately, you get to cast a vote on how this industry continues to affect the planet. How?
Through gaining knowledge as well as changing and adjusting your shopping habits!
Remember when everyone was saying “it’s just one straw”? And yet, a few years later most of cafes and restaurants introduced alternatives and we are walking around with stainless straws in our bags. Same story with plant-based milk.
If we could achieve that, why can’t we shake the fashion world? Of course, we can.
But we need to start somewhere. So why don’t you start today? Learn about sustainability
There is a lot fast fashion industry doesn’t want us to know. Have you ever heard the saying “The less you know the better you sleep.” That might be true, but wouldn’t it be a bliss to go to sleep knowing you help change the course of the events?
As mentioned before, what’s essential is educating ourselves, and others. There is a lot of amazing resources out there that talk about the influence of fast fashion on the planet and people, teach sustainability and show awesome alternatives. Some of our favorites are:
A not-for-profit global movement insisting on the change in the fashion industry demanding more transparency and better conditions for garment workers.
Sustainable Fashion Forum
Global online and offline community of changemakers founded on principles of discovery and education, interested in the reform of the fashion industry.
An acronym for “Fashion for Animal Kingdom and Environment.” Global movement inspiring conscious shopping and connecting ethical sellers and buyers.
Shop secondhand, upcycle, make it last
The hot word out there is sustainability. What does it mean?
Probably something slightly different to everyone. Essentially, in this context, it is all about living in a way that minimises negative harm on the planet for the future environment.
What does sustainable fashion entitle? Secondhand shopping, upcycling, use of natural materials, mindful buying and a lot more.
You don’t need a huge closet full of clothes. You just need that kind of items that you can mix and match with each other! An average person doesn’t even wear 50% of the content of their wardrobe.
Reevaluate what it is that you want and what it is that you need. The most sustainable clothes are the ones that are already in your closet! But if you need to buy something new, make sure you choose garments that will last long! To find out more about how to build a sustainable wardrobe take a look here.
Make some research on how and where the brand you’re about to purchase from produces their garments. You can do so by following earlier mentioned organizations and activists on social media.
The truth is if the brand is not transparent about sourcing, can we really trust it?
Be mindful on where the fabrics used in the making of the clothes are produced. Check if the factories are using organic cotton, not the one filled with pesticides.
We use natural materials like linen, hemp, cotton and tencel. If you wish to find out more about each of these fabrics you can do so here.
Here at Jackie Lutze we are all about sustainability. We believe clothing should make you feel good and be good for the planet. Because if we don’t insist on change, the future won’t look as bright as the neon trend.
So next time you go shopping try to think what it is that you actually need, not want. And remember, you are voting for the future of our environment with your wallet.