Fashion…Killing Our World

In the United States, we spend over $350 billion shopping every day. That’s more money than our entire country gives to charity over the course of a year!”

— Passion Lilie

Our society prefers to throw away items instead of keeping them since consumers feel pressure from brands to “keep up with the trends.”  The opposite of this pressure is sustainable fashion. 

Sustainable fashion has become a “buzzword” because it has quickly come to popularity constantly being seen in the media. Green Strategy a sustainable and circular fashion consulting company said, “Sustainable fashion is thus partly about producing clothes, shoes and accessories in environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manners, but also about more sustainable patterns of consumption and use, which necessitate shifts in individual attitudes and behavior.” 

This new wave of fashion has flipped the current industry upside down. Causing lots of change in the minds of consumers and the major companies producing our clothes. 

Companies were able to make clothing without thinking about it and looked for the cheapest way to do so in order to make the most profit. The materials used by these brands were never considered and the common person never questioned it either. 

It can take up to 200 years for that garment to decompose.”

— Forbes Magazine

All clothing including garments were made with the cheapest materials and no one thought to the effect the clothing had on the environment once you threw it away. Clothes were meant to be cute in the store, bought and then worn until the person got bored of them, went out of style, or fell apart and then would be thrown away or donated. Forbes Magazine explains the true intentions of these companies is to make a profit. The clothes are not made to last they are created with the intention of needing to buy more clothes.  

Brands use the cheapest fabrics they can make having no concern for the environment they come from. These materials take a lot of energy, and lots of water that is becoming a more scared resource by the second, to become clothing. 

One of the writers at Forbes Magazine, Cotler states that microplastics can be found in lots of clothing. The microplastics can end up in the ocean and then are consumed by fish. Soon enough we are eating the fish or another sea animal and now these microplastics are in our bodies.

Have you heard of Sustainable Fashion?

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Sustainable fashion focuses on the piece of clothing itself and “the entire lifecycle of the product must be thought about at the design.” Says Blanchard from British Vogue, who has been watching sustainable fashion rise in popularity. 

The conditions for the works of these big companies are terrible. One example from British Vogue, “1,138 garment workers who were killed when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed on 24 April 2013.” It is common for these factories to collapse under about and these workers have nothing protecting them. 

A big company is focused on the profit it can make and is looking for the cheapest labor it can find and is not worried about safety or conditions for its workers. Companies make factories in third world countries who need the money these businesses will bring. The people working in these horrible conditions have no other options and are just happy to make money even if it is not enough to support their family it is better than nothing. 

At the moment, human rights abuses, gender inequality, and environmental degradation all remain rife within the fashion industry, and positive change is more urgently needed than ever to tackle climate change and create a more equitable future for everybody working within the fashion supply chains.”

— Carry Somers from British Vogue

The good thing is that now companies are realizing that these cases have gone around the news and consumers are educated about the effect they are having on our world. Many new companies have been created focusing on sustainable fashion in the whole cycle of our clothing. The environmental impact, workers making the clothes, the longevity of the clothing, materials in the clothes and what will happen to the clothes after they are used. 

Sadly Amanda Coter from Forbes says,  “a hang tag using the word “sustainable” does not mean the retailer is using clean processes to develop that garment.” There are no regulations that prevent brands currently form creating false advertising so consumers buy their products. 

The brand will benefit if they do not change because sustainable clothing is much more expensive to produce. Companies also have to do lots of research to test the sustainability and wearability of their new products before realizing them. 

Sustainable fashion is a step toward a better world. It is a world that cares about people and the environment as a whole. Allowing society to take steps toward an Earth that our descendants can enjoy.

In the last few years fashion has woken up, we’ve become aware of how aggressive the industry is and the impact our actions have, both individually and as institutions. But there is a lot more to do.”

— Margherita Missoni, a sustainability advocate from Vogue