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As you all know over the last few months I paid more attention to what I buy and who I support fashion-wise. I am far from living the perfect sustainable, fair fashion life but I try my very best.
So, for this post, I wanted to know the effects the fast fashion industry has on our planet and I was really shocked by them and thought I would not only share them with my professor and fellow students through an essay but also on my blog.
Almost at the same time, Organic Basics*, one of my most favorite sustainable clothing brands, published a page on their website called
It is an amazingly structured overview with all the details you need to know about sustainability and the fashion industry and definitely worth checking out. During this blog post, I will refer to some of their mentioned facts and even though this post might be slightly different from what I usually do, I hope you don’t mind and will still like it. The amazing illustrations were sent to me by Organic Basics* as well. Thank you so much!
How the fast fashion industry is damaging our planet
As everyone knows, our planet is going through some serious economic changes at the moment with global warming and climate change. Just today I listened to a radio interview on my way to the train station and the expert the radio station was interviewing said that we have about 10-15 years left to change our behaviors + habits. That is incredible. By this time I am going to be about 30 and might have kids who would be born into this big mess. That is actually really scary to think about.
Like I said before a big reason for climate change is the fast fashion industry. But it doesn’t only pollute the environment, it also disregards human rights which is another reason why we have to ask ourselves if we really want to support them.
Fast Fashion – the most polluting industry in the world
The fast fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world and one of the largest consumers of water on our planet. It is also the reason that half a million tons of microfibers, the tiny strands our clothes release while being washed, are freed into the ocean every year which sums up to over 50 billion plastic bottles. 50 billion and that number doesn’t even include the amount of actual plastic bottles. We are about 7,7 billion people on this planet. You can do the math. That would be about 7 bottles per person swimming in the ocean. Per EVERY SINGLE PERSON.
Plastic bottles, microfibres, and plastic bags aren’t the only problems. Many kinds of toothpaste and body wash consist of tiny pieces of plastic as well that aren’t filtered out and then end up in the ocean. Fish and other sea life eat the plastic which is how it enters our food chains. With plastic in our meals, the risks of diseases are increased immensely, especially in third world countries. You should definitely watch the movie The True Cost. It gives you a perfect insight into the dirty fashion industry and how people suffer from it.
All of this makes it obvious that people need to be more aware of the things they buy and try to start supporting sustainable brands. I am not saying that you have to become the most active and engaged environmentalist. I am definitely not but what I want to say is that tiny steps can make a difference. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about little things you can do to be a bit more sustainable. If you are interested, feel free to check it out.
Okay but now back on track.
Human Rights – wait, what?
Another aspect which can’t be ignored is that the fast fashion industry also disregards human rights, especially in developing countries. Licenses like the GOTS Certificate or BSCI core labor rights make sure that factories treat their workers right and look after their safety. Nonetheless, in 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1338 people and injuring another 2500. The factory mostly produced clothes for big western fast fashion brands that didn’t follow any guidelines of the accreditations. It gets clear that a big part of our population is suffering from the fast fashion business and that is definitely a big reason why people need to stop supporting fast fashion brands. I mean, if you don’t care about the climate, then at least think about all the people who suffer from bad working conditions and bad chemicals. It seriously breaks my heart.
Stopping pollution and helping people gain back their rights by stopping the fast fashion industry is something which deserves more attention.
Luckily there are alternatives. The fair fashion industry focuses on reducing their environmental footprint and provides safe working spaces and reasonable working hours. I know that they often aren’t the cheapest option but first of all, it’s good to invest in good, solid clothing pieces and honestly, the knowledge that no one suffered making my clothes and the fact that I am helping our planet to recover makes it all worth it and I better save money with something else.
Wow, that was a long post but I really loved digging deeper into the topic and get more information. I really hope I was able to help you with this post, maybe open some eyes.
If you like, leave me some feedback. Would love to hear about your opinions and experiences.
Have a good rest of your day or night, wherever you are.
A little treat at the end: You can use my discount code PEOOBC to get 10% off your order over at organicbasics.com*.