Firstly, lets define fast fashion: “Inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” (Dictionary online definition)
Every year, we collectively purchase around 80 billion pieces of new clothing globally. A McKinsey and Company study found that fashion consumption increased by 60% between 2000 and 2014 alone. These statistics are staggering. This does not include production, as we know, some stock is wasted due to defects or over producing. So even more clothes are made than the figure above – mind blowing huh?
According to Wrap, around £140m (350,000 tonnes) worth of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year.
We are producing clothes at an accelerated rate, and shortly after they are produced many are heading to landfill…
In BBC documentary “The Secret Life of Landfills” they dug up an 1980s landfill and found almost fully intact cotton clothing. Landfill prevents anything from being broken down (or up) quickly.
Is anything changing for the better?
By 2030, it is estimated the fashion industry will consume resources equivalent to two Earths, with the demand for clothing forecast to increase by 63%. (Environmental Price of the Environment 2020). This of course is concerning. We have been led to believe that we NEED MORE CLOTHES. But we really don’t. We need to slow down our buying rate, buying less but better and making is last longer. The rise of instagram hauls and fashion influencers is another factor leading us to purchase fast fashion at an accelerated rate… and if I am honest about it – it really is concerning.
So what can we do?
Some actionable tips:
- buy less clothes in general, and look after what we have – either buy repairing or washing on cool washes with soft detergent (or spot cleaning where possible!)
- support small sustainable brands where no corners have been cut for profits
- shop second-hand!
Let me know your favourite tips for avoiding fast fashion