Fast Fashion

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Fast Fashion not only looks cheap but hurts the environment

By: Irem Akgul – 2023 Summer Intern

Some people believe that what’s called “Fast Fashion” has a bad impact on the environment. In reality, few people know about the system that produces cheap clothing at a rapid pace and gets it on the market to meet consumer demand.

Many people also are unaware of the environmental issues caused by this approach to producing clothing. Fast Fashion mostly uses cheap materials that cannot be recycled and is only good for the trash heap in a short time.

According to Gale Opposing, an expert on Fast Fashion, “In June 2022 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that just 14.7 percent of consumer textiles were recycled in the United States in 2018, with most of the rest being sent to incinerators or landfills.”

This means most fast fashion textiles are being trashed, which is bad for the environment.

Fast fashion also has a bad effect on our environment is because of the energy wasted to produce it such cheap products.

In the article, “Fast Fashion Lies,” Anika Kozlowski notes a lot of energy is wasted in producing Fast Fashion materials that have a short lifespan. And much of the energy used is from fossil fuels that contribute to global warming and the resulting hot, violent weather around the world.

But there’s another reason Fast Fashions should be avoided. It’s supporting a culture of waste and disregard for the environment. Kozlowski argues people should buy from small companies that focus on sustainability and producing quality clothing that can be reused. Fast Fashion businesses make more clothing than they sell since it is so cheap to do so.

The climate crisis is making it more important than ever for consumers to think about the products they buy, and Fast Fashion should be avoided at all cost.

There is an alternative to cheap, fast produced clothing. Kozlowski suggests people deal with small companies that produce made-to-order clothing and do not make more than they are likely to sell. Smaller fashion companies also have clothing of high quality, ensuring durability and longevity. That means far less wasted energy to produce and more durable clothing.

Wearing better clothes and avoiding the cheap, quick stuff will not only make you look better, but it can help us save the planet.

Irem Akgul wrote this opinion piece while interning for the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg and PA Media Group. It was published here.