Column: Life on Earth

This week’s topic: Fast Fashion

By Elle Storoe

We all love shopping for clothes, especially when we find websites where the clothes are inexpensive. It is an easy way to look fashionable at such an affordable cost. There is a name for this kind of business, it’s called “Fast Fashion.” Fast Fashion is a franchise that uses cheap materials, labor, and lots of water to make clothing at quick pace. This is great for people who want to be fashionable at an affordable price, however, the price is much greater considering the effects it has on our planet. Fashion is ranked within the top five most polluting industries, considering it takes more than 700 gallons of water to make one cotton shirt. Fast Fashion is also ranked within the top five of being one of the largest polluters of clean water, by using cheap and toxic chemicals to make the clothing. Another reason that Fast Fashion is bad for the environment is because, well, it’s fast. These businesses create and sell clothes at a high and fast rate, meaning that people are buying new clothes and discarding other clothes at a fast rate. Discarding clothes is bad for the environment. It can take up to 80 years for clothing to break down, and with the average American throwing away around 80 pounds annually, this does not go over well for our planet. 

How to Help

Now that we know that Fast Fashion is not good for our planet for many reasons, here are a couple of ways we can help. First, we can do research. Doing research on the brand before buying can help us know whether it is a good brand or not, how the company makes its clothes and whether the company is eco-friendly. Next, we can also thrift. Thrifting is a wonderful way to get great secondhand clothes at cheap prices. Third, we can buy less. Buying only what we need is a fantastic way to reduce our clothing footprint. Lastly, donating clothes to thrift stores, or giving clothes that do not fit to friends or family is another way to help save the planet. Reusing clothes helps save the items from going into the landfill every year.