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Why sustainable fashion needs to replace fast fashion

27 July 2022 | 2 Min Read

We’ve become increasingly used to the idea of fast food and fast fashion, but what damage does it do?

 

The fast fashion industry produces over 92 million tonnes of waste per year, and much of that isn’t going to biodegrade or be repurposed. Polyester and plastics can spend thousands of years in our soils and can harm wildlife and our way of living in the long term.

 

Before fast fashion even makes it to warehouses or stores, the processes of producing the clothing in itself can also be damaging to the environment, but also to the people making them. Fashion checker reports that 93% of the brands that they surveyed, don’t pay garment makers a liveable wage! 

 

We’re all aware of the carbon emissions we produce consciously and unconsciously every day, but fast fashion is attributed to 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon every year! That’s 10% of global greenhouse emissions, just behind the food and construction industries.

 

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How does sustainable fashion help the planet?

So with all this doom and gloom, where does sustainable fashion come in to save the day and the planet? (Freja Solberg’s great Medium article also breaks things down really well if you get the chance to read it)

1 - Sourcing better materials

Producing inorganic cotton or plastic materials is a big part of the problem when it comes to emissions, and then waste. Sustainable fashion ideas can cut down on both ends of this. With organic cotton, hemp, or other non-chemical reliant crops, you can produce the same fashion with far less of an impact on the environment. Many options like bamboo clothing will also biodegrade, which protects aquatic life and our soils in the long term!

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2 - Better production practices

As we mentioned earlier, paying people a liveable wage is also part of sustainability. Without people being able to eat, live, and get to work manageably, companies can fail and local economies can remain in poverty. Fair Trade practices are often used by sustainable brands, which sets a benchmark on what farming practices, wages, and conditions are used in production. 

3 - Consumer Education

Educating everybody possible about the better alternatives for the planet is crucial. Sustainable fashion brands are intent on educating consumers and stakeholders on the positive impacts their practices can make, but also how they can do even better at times. Tiny differences made by millions of people can make a real impact, especially if those changes are conscious and habitual. 

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