The environmental and ethical problem of fashion
The fashion industry is among the most polluting in the world. This is because the current system of production and use of clothes is linear: industries use large quantities of resources (especially non-renewable) and people wear clothes for a very short period. Then garments end up in landfills or incinerators.
Since the 2000s, the so-called “fast fashion” phenomenon is characterized by collections that last a few months, medium-low prices and a disposable type of consumption. Fast fashion brands sell clothes designed to be thrown away after being worn only a few times.
More than half of the fast fashion produced is thrown away within a year!
The low cost of labor in developing countries allows fast fashion brands to have very low prices, that encourage consumers to shop more frequently. As a result the over production and the old-fashioned clothes tend to end up in landfills. Less than 1% of the materials are recycled into new clothing. This is a big waste of resources and a serious demage for the environment.
Studies tell us that “extending the life of an item by even just 9 months reduces its environmental impact from 20 to 30%”. A solution to really reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, therefore, is transforming second-hand clothes into something wearable again and extend their life.