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How Fast Fashion Damages the Environment?

Fashion Industry's Damage to Environment

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture.  These garments are in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand. This often entails exploiting workers in inhumane conditions.

Among the various issues regarding fast fashion and how its industry has been able to boom, the various destructive effects on the environment remain a major concern. the fast fashion industry exports its production business overseas for cheap labor to avoid the high minimum wages implemented by many developed governments. Fast fashion comes with a lot of consequences. It finally falls upon us and we are the ones consuming it and the fashion industry tries to meet our demands and at a reasonable price. The following is the list of damage that is caused by the fast fashion industry.

Untreated toxic wastewater

This textile waste contains substances like lead, mercury, and arsenic that are extremely harmful to aquatic and human life. Wastewater from clothes factories is dumped directly into rivers. The toxic water is very dangerous and leads to a bad impact on the environment. There are many factories in the world without strict environmental rules which leads to untreated and toxic water entering the oceans.

Damage Caused by Synthetic Material

Synthetic materials are the prime reasons which enter our ocean. To reduce the price of the product, the fast fashion industry turns to products of low quality. For instance, there is a material made of polyester which consists of plastic that releases more carbon emissions. Plastics tend to degrade slowly in the ocean and it takes a longer period of time than usual. It has a very dangerous effect on marine ecosystems. Plastic microfibres can enter the ocean in many ways. It can even enter through our washing machine.

Out of Fashion and In Landfills

The fashion industry makes a lot of clothes and clothes that are in trend that the consumers forget the value of clothes. Many consumers do not wear them after three-four washes. Another reason for not wearing clothes more than twice or thrice is that it gets out of style and now consumers are in need of new clothes. These two main concerns involve clothing in landfills and incinerated clothing. Due to a number of cuts out for clothing, a large number of materials are being wasted. This tends to affect people living in nearby communities which include public health and environmental dangers.

Usage of Viscose

There is the usage of viscose in the fast fashion industry which is an alternative to cotton. Viscose has major side effects for the environment as it consists of harmful chemicals. Other than environmental factors, it also has bad effects on the workers. Viscose results in a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions than cotton production.

In Conclusion

To bring a change and save the environment one can do mindful purchasing of fashion brands and not buy brands that you’re not really sure about. The fast fashion industry has caused substantial damage but one should work towards being an environmentally conscious consumer so as to bring a positive change in the environment.

About the author

Vrinda Gupta

Hi there! I am on a journey to discover myself. As a result, I enjoy putting myself out there and exploring the intricacies that life offers. Things I have tried and learned from - painting, reading, writing, cooking, teaching, and traveling. I am all set to graduate from the University of Delhi in 2022 with a Bachelors's Degree in Management Studies. Hope you have a good time reading my articles!