The phrase “fast fashion” was created to refer to mass-market merchants’ rapid creation of affordable apparel. The method used in developing, manufacturing, and marketing these fashion trends is centered on producing items as rapidly and inexpensively as feasible.
Fast fashion is appealing to clients who want to be the first to own the latest trends. Despite its ease of access to developing trends, quick fashion exacts a heavy environmental toll.
Apparel and footwear contribute significantly to the climate catastrophe, accounting for almost 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, somewhat more than France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined.
At the moment, no legally enforceable environmental criteria have been implemented by government regulation for fast fashion industry. Without regulation, the sector will account for more than 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050.
The industry generates 100 billion garments every year for a population of 7 billion, and almost all of them (87 percent) end up in landfills or incinerators. Synthetic textile manufacture (which accounts for 60% of our apparel) is responsible for 35% of all ocean microplastics that have entered our food chain.
It accounts for 20% of industrial effluent and pollutes freshwater systems by the use of hazardous chemicals, dyes, and heavy metals that are harmful to the environment and human health.
Accountability and structural change are critical for decreasing the industry’s permanent impact on the earth. One may argue that companies and customers share blame for these issues.
However, there is one last seat at the table of fashion responsibility, one that has made no real move to transform the industry to far but has the necessary ability to do so: governments. They will have to enact legislation to rein in the overproduction and over consumption that define fast fashion, therefore mitigating the industry’s terrible environmental effect.
Reference- UN News website, McKinsey Report, Down To Earth Article, Earth Day Network Newsletter