Fashion is the world’s 2nd most polluting industry after oil.
Fashion is everywhere, and we love it.
Fashion is as beautiful as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Versace and many more. These are the brands that may be ridiculously expensive, but they’re actually worth it.
My generation looks to fashion like Zara, Cotton On and many others labelled under fast fashion which are cheap, but more expensive in the long run. That’s the problem.
There is a rising issue on fast fashion and it’s damaging effects on planet earth. We are all thrilled at the low costs of fashion these days and the increasing convenience it brings but are we that selfish and lazy to just think about ourselves?
I’m not saying to stop all shopping. I’m just saying, do we really need that much clothing?
You may have been told about our governments’ issues about the increasing waste produce and the environmental problems that comes with getting rid of these wastes we produce. But what you don’t know is that aside from all the plastic and food wastes, much of the landfills are occupied by cotton wastes. When cotton is burnt, greenhouse gas methane. Some clothes are not even made up of cotton, but instead, a non-biodegradable polyester or nylon. These clothes also have dyes and bleaches that end up back into our soil and groundwater after being burnt at the landfills. All of this, is essentially, poisoning our earth. (See: BBC Documentary)
We have so much wasted cotton in our landfills because we believe that we need that much clothing to function. Clothes for causal days, clothes for the Seasons, clothes for parties, clothes for chill days, clothes for dates etc. We have to have it all, all for different occasions, because we just have to.
From a source Eco Age, it states that people only keep one piece of clothing for an average of 35 days. We buy when sales come, we throw them away when we don’t feel like we look good in them anymore. We have become a culture of negligence because we just focus on ourselves and fail to be observant towards the world around us. It is our home. How could we let a $7 dollar shirt blind us when there are trees cut down, fossil fuels used up, thousands of kilos of coals burnt and rivers being polluted? Is your future and the future of your children worth $7?
Don’t get me wrong. I love how our generation is starting to have self-appreciating campaigns that promote personal growth and empowering each other. I love how more and more of us are able to love ourselves without the need to get approval from others. I love that. But we are dangerously close to the line of being conceited.
It’s almost dark and twisted these days. Social media promotes loving yourself, looking “fine” and being empowering through make up and fashion but it is driving the younger generations to be all about representing themselves through these clothes. Brands are taking advantage of this and making it seem almost essential that we are only freely represented as unique individuals based on what we wear and the type of fashion we are into. Some brands take advantage of the youths’ need to belong to a community and make trends as a way to sell that chance. These trends come and go, so we become obsessed with getting them before they stop selling them.
This multi billion dollar industry might look picturesque but it is a messed up industry, with companies having different goals. Some brands still upkeep their love and drive to create fashion that is admirable and breathtaking, but there are others just waiting to leech off money from an ever growing industry. I could go into all the shady clothing factories and talk about thousands of poorly paid laborers and their poor working conditions but that’s pretty much intuitive and well known to many.
“Cheap” clothes does not give us the excuse to buy more at the expense of the future generations. Cheap clothes shouldn’t be bought at a cheap price, at the expense of another.
With this, I have decided to stop my compulsive shopping habits, and only restrict the shopping to special occasions. No more monthly changing closets, no more ending up having to donate heaps and piles of clothes. No more. I will not be a part of the ongoing murder of our planet. I may not be an activist in this field, but I will do what I can, though little, to save my planet.
Fashion can be still a truly beautiful industry. I still believe that fashion can do wonders for us, be it uniting people or making us well-represented individuals. We are able to do this, while taking care of our home. We don’t have to enjoy one for the expense of the other.
But hey it isn’t too late! Start donating your clothes and change your consumer habits. I’ll provide some links to start out but feel free to check out more online! (See: H&M Recycling, Salvation Army, Junk To Clear, New2U)