The news is spreading like fire. It’s all over social media, people are encouraging others not to shop from fast-fashion brands and there are tons of reasons why it's being discouraged. Fast-fashion brands are known to contribute to climate change and are damaging our planet through overproduction, neglecting their workers, and are often just made of poor quality.
What is fast fashion?
Fast-fashion is a term to describe clothing factories regularly mass-producing trendy clothes made at a very low cost and sold in retail stores. According to what the trend of the season is, the clothing industry will quickly follow up with the design and over-produce these cheap, low-quality clothing. Fast fashion also source from factories with weak labor laws and poor work conditions just to get clothing for cheaper costs but with the factory worker’s livelihood at risk. In fact, just in India alone, 200,000 farmers committed suicide since 1997 with many of these deaths linked to debt and health issues.
Why is fast fashion bad?
The clothing industry itself creates tons of waste and pollution to the environment. Not only that, but to provide consumers with cheaper prices or for the business to make more profit, they will source from low-waged factory workers that are overseas for their products for a higher profit margin. Fast-fashion clothing also tends to encourage over-consumption of clothes due to its cheap prices and trendy designs. However, what many consumers don’t know is that with these cheap prices, comes poorer quality clothing. Eventually, you realize that the higher-priced shirt has a longer lifespan than most of the cheap polyester-made clothing.
1. Over-production Leads to Bigger Landfills
According to Calpirg, 85% of our clothing ends up in landfills or burnt most of them never being worn or used before or still in wearable condition. Fast-fashion encourages the overproduction of clothes to follow trends. After the trend has come to an end, the clothes that have been unbought or worn a couple of times would be thrown away. In addition, most of these trendy clothes are often made with cheap polyester which makes them unbiodegradable, so they just sit there in landfills for years to come.
2. Higher Carbon Emissions and Water Usage
With more clothing produced, its no doubt that more energy and water are needed to produce these clothes. The fast fashion industry uses over 79 trillion liters of water annually and 8-10% of carbon emissions globally just to manufacture their clothes that often end up in landfills. The reason for this high usage of water and energy because of the overconsumption of clothing. Fast-fashion often favors quick and cheaper production which means they don’t take into account the environment or resources being wasted.
3. Cheaper Costs = Unsafe and Unfair Wages For Workers
Have you wondered how the total cost of a t-shirt could be $10? Typically in fast fashion the cost to purchase each garment is $2-$5 per shirt. Everyone from the farmer, fabric, tags, thread and employees to logistics is paid at this cost. The workers producing these clothes are making close to nothing for their hard work! And yes, clothes are still sewn and pieced together by living, breathing humans who have their own life and family to support. Many workers in countries with weak labor laws are taken advantage of by huge corporations for cheap production costs. These workers deserve to be paid a decent wage just as much as all of us do.
With poor work conditions, many workers also face the risk of severe factory accidents such as the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza factory, which killed 1134 garment industry workers in Bangladesh in 1995 and injured many more. This accident started a movement and a raise for awareness for the weak work conditions from fast fashion. Following the event, many people in the developed world started to speak out against the unfair treatment of workers.
4. Increase In Water Pollution
Fast-Fashion often uses polyester as a material for their clothing. Polyester contains microplastics that end up in the ocean as pollutants to marine life. Microfibres in these synthetic materials are released when factories wash their products and eventually, the water from the process pollutes the sea. These microplastics are ingested by fishes, caught by fishermen, and end up on our plates and in our bodies. The clothing industry also uses toxic chemical dyes to dye their clothes which again also pollute our sea.
What can you do?
Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for a fair, safe, clean, and transparent fashion industry through spreading awareness about the neglected workers being mistreated and are fighting for a change in the fashion industry. Since Fashion Revolution began, people from all over the world have used their voice and their power to demand change in the fashion industry. And it’s working. The industry is starting to listen. On April 24th of every year, people come together to ask big fashion industries who made their clothes. This way, huge corporates will know that people care about where they source their clothes from and how they can do better as a company.
Being more aware of where your clothes came from, and who produced them will help you realize the horrors behind the clothing production process and be a conscious shopper. Shop from companies that provide transparency to their supply chain.
Fashion doesn’t have to be unethical, it’s just big corporations who want to earn huge profits by upping their prices. With The Good Tee being one of the companies supporting this mission, slowly, we’ll be able to bring awareness and change the fashion industry into a more humane industry. Fashion Revolution for The Good Tee is dear to our hearts and our hearts are with the people that make our clothes.
Remember, these businesses are overproducing and manufacturing for you, the consumer. In order to remove this demand for fast-fashion clothing, you must make the choice to shop consciously by shopping for what you need not want. Choose to shop from sustainably and ethically certified brands like B-Corp, FairTrade, Global Organic Textile Standard, Climate Neutral and other third-party certifications.
We at The Good Tee guaran(Tee) that you’ll be able to feel good about your purchases with our Fair Trade certified organic cotton and as a B-Corp company, we care about the environment as much as you do.
Feel good about your purchases and shop at The Good Tee today!