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From Fast Fashion to Eco-Fashion

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31st Jul 2019

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Significant changes to the global fashion industry have been made over the last 20 years. Greed has led to the over production and over consumption of goods, which has resulted in the fashion industry contributing 10% of all carbon emissions produced – that’s more than the airline industry! On average, consumers are now buying 60% more clothing items than in 2000, however, each item of clothing is now kept for only half as long; not to mention that the apparel and shoes produced have a much higher carbon impact than the GDP being made in the fashion world. Is fashion really worth the cost?

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion is the production of inexpensive clothing on a large scale, being consumed by mass-market retailers; which basically means that new collections have a quick turn-around time. The changing demand of fashion is difficult for people to afford, keep up with – and of course it’s bad for the environment. Changing trends encourage consumers to buy new clothes more frequently due to the lower prices.

Contemporary fashion is not made to last – the clothes rip, get holes in or simply become ‘out of fashion’. The durability of these clothes are low, meaning that it also contributes to the high consumption rate.

Examples of fast fashion retailers are: Boohoo, Zara, H&M, Forever21 and Topshop.

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Overcoming Fast Fashion: Shift to Low Carbon

It takes 10,000 litres of water to grow 1kg of cotton. It takes 1kg of cotton to make 1 pair of jeans. So, it’s probably not a surprise that the fashion industry contributes to 20% of the worlds global water waste.

Customers are becoming more eco-conscious but there is still a social stigma of wearing second hand clothes or buying from a charity shop. However, charity shopping is a great way to recycle clothing, but there are other options:

  • Consciously buy less clothes
  • Swap clothes with your friends and family
  • Repair old clothes
  • If you want new clothes, try not to buy from high street brands; invest in economical brands such as Stella McCartney or eco-friendly shops

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What is Eco-Fashion?

Eco-fashion is sustainable clothing which has derived from eco-friendly resources and materials. For example, hemp, organic cotton, organic linen like bamboo linen and recycled materials are the most sustainable fabrics which can be used to make clothes. Sustainable fashion is about minimising the damage done to the environment when producing clothes, so the products used must also be pesticide and chemical free.

Stella McCartney has created her own Eco-fashion line which uses recycled materials such as organic cotton and viscose fibres from forests, fur-free-fur and vegetarian leather. This is a responsible business as by using materials from ethical sources, the environment is protected.

Ways you can get involved in the shift from Fast Fashion to Eco-Fashion

Green Fashion Week

x-Ray Fashion

Shop Eco-Friendly:

Moore Custom Goods
Uses locally sourced materials and vegan supplies.

People Tree
Aims to meet shifting demands while being 100% Fair Trade.

Thread International
Sale of rPET fabrics which are handmade. Responsible fabrics to create your own clothes with.

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We, as consumers, have the power to make a change