extend, renew, reduce!

4 reasons to quit fast fashion.

Elizabeth marin

Posted on December 10 2020

sustainable fashion and why to quit fast fashion

No waste, the new taste!

This is one of our mottos, but why? And how does a fashion lover deal with the fact that one of the things they love the most is harming the planet so much.

Do we really need to give up to the ease to fall for that cheap trendy dress for a Friday night date? Different studies have shown that we will probably wear that dress a maximum of seven times, whether it is  because of the garment’s quality, it is not fashionable anymore, or we will simply view it as a disposable piece. 

How many of us see shopping as an activity or a mindset? How often do we feel like we don’t have anything to wear? Although, we have a closet full of clothes. The problem with fast fashion and our consuming habits, apart from the huge cost for the environment and the consequences for exploitation of cheap labor, is also related with the way we feel about ourselves and how we are spending our money.
So, the answer is yes, we need to be conscious and radically change the way we consume fashion. I remember how shocked I was when I read for the first time that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world just after oil1. In the last 30 years the fashion business has gone from 2 seasons a year up to 52 micro-seasons, focusing on cheap prices and the marketing hype of creating quick trends that will make us buy faster than we can wear each piece.

Source: The Walt Street Journal. A woman takes a photograph of the French artist Christain Boltanski's ‘No Man’s Land,’ composed of 30 tons of discarded clothing, on display at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, May 2010. Source: The Walt Street Journal.

A woman takes a photograph of the French artist Christain Boltanski's ‘No Man’s Land,’
composed of 30 tons of discarded clothing, on display at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, May 2010.

In fast fashion the business model consists in using cheap materials and labor to produce clothing collections at a rapid pace for immediate consumption. Behind every $5 t-shirt there is a huge mechanism of factories in countries with poor regulated working conditions, the exploitation of nonrenewable resources, and billions of dollars invested in this throwaway culture that the industry perpetuates. We could say that there are many reasons to be more conscious of the things we buy and wear, but all of them are related to the following elements:


1.  Environmental cost:

Fast fashion produces more than 14K millions of tons of land waste yearly, and produces 10% of all the planet’s carbon emissions, it’s the second-largest consumer of the world's water supply and pollutes the oceans with microplastics (according to Mckinsey 2016). 

Most of the clothes being sold right now are made with synthetic materials that are full of toxic chemicals, and needed tons of water to be made, apart from taking from 50 to 200 years to decompose or end up producing micro-plastics in the oceans.
We could endlessly put examples and metrics about how fashion is killing the planet, but in a quicker way let’s just remember what sustainable is (according to Cambridge dictionary): “Something that is able to continue at the same level for a period of time”. Therefore, knowing that a pair of jeans take up to 2000 gallons of water to be made, is a simpler way to understand how unsustainable fast fashion is.
  The impact of clothing continues to mount after we leave the store with a newly purchased apparel, because eventually we will throw away or give up enormous amounts of clothes per year, that in the best scenario are taken to a secondhand store, used for charity (Please do), or recycled but this is a feasible option only for high quality materials, otherwise it will just end up heading to the shredding bin and then in a landfill.


 2. Exploitation of workers:

Nowadays there is so much information about this, documentaries like “The true cost” made it more evident and a trending topic for a while, the fact that brands act silently, benefiting from poor legislation, and corrupt politicians in third world countries to exploit workers for as little as $2 a day and 16-19 hours shifts.
There are plenty of evidences about this, and the truth is too big for brands to covered with PR activities and “Fair trade” labels. This is a matter of choice and we as customer have the ultimate word, about how to support or stop buying these kinds of brands.

Factory workers.


3. Higher cost in the run

Now we can see that the true cost is higher than a price tag but also since you won’t be able to wear that $5 t-shirt more than a couple of times, you will end up buying more, just to find out in the long run that you don’t have anything of quality to wear in your closet. #QualityOverQuantity
  You can buy one or two pairs of quality trousers (Organic materials, trustable fair trade, high quality and long lasting) or five trendy and disposable ones. When you realize that you have spent more on the main course that you are having for dinner in that restaurant than the pants you are wearing that night it is shocking to realize the relationship we have with clothes and fashion.
  This completely changes our mindset and how we start consuming for the long term, giving value, and taking care of things, and this mindset eventually extends to other aspects of our life.


4. The anxiety of “being Trendy”:

Some of you might understand what we mean by that. It is crazy how fast fashion is designed to make you feel that you always need more, because it doesn’t matter how much you have in your closet or how much you bought yesterday in that moment of self-reward-shopping, in two weeks is not going to be fashionable anymore.
  Setting free of that, is going to be good for your self-confidence, your pocket and even for your closet. You will be able to connect again with the pieces you buy and whatever you own in your wardrobe. From a fashion perspective is going to allow you to find your true style and transmit your personality with the things you wear, and just be yourself, without the pressure of “Trendy”.
 #NoWasteTheNewTaste is the only way for fashion and for a sustainable way of life in general. There is no point in patronizing brands when the final decisions are on us, IF “The customer is always right” it means we must demand the change and actually WEAR THE CHANGE! For a better planet and a better me, as well!

Do good, look good, feel good.

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