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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] The dangers of fast fashion

by Alice Ervaz | 14-11-2019 00:44 Comments 6 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

If you have recently embraced an eco-friendly lifestyle, chances are that you are already aware of the impact that meat consumption and production has on the environment and you most likely know that the emissions caused by the employ of fossil fuels in the energetic industry are slowly turning our planet in a scorching hot greenhouse. In such a globalized world, it is quite easy to spread awareness about global challenges pertaining to the health of the planet and to initiate movements aimed at diminishing the impact of humankind on Earth. However, some industries have been slow to adapt to the green revolution and fashion is among them.

The long-term malady that has affected the industry for over thirty years has a specific name – the diagnosis of fast fashion was firstly employed to describe Zara’s business model in the 90s, but has, as of now spread to other famous retailers worldwide, namely TopShop, Primark and Forever21. Fast fashion entails the quick production of inexpensive clothing pieces to meet the most recent fashion tendencies on the market – a strategy that has dramatically increased sales in the last decade, as in 2014  average person possessed 60% more clothing items compared to the average consumer in 2000, wearing those clothes just for half as long.

If you are skimming through this article in your local Starbucks, sipping your artificially sweetened almond milk Frappuccino with a reusable keychain metallic straw and you are feeling quite sustainable, have a closer look. Your newly bought frayed-hem skinny jeans and your 5 $ Primark t-shirt might be having a much larger impact on the environment than you previously thought…

It is estimated that it takes up to 10,000 liters of water to manufacture one single pair of jeans that will travel for 10,000 km by boat and up to 4,000 km in a truck to finally land on a shelf in your local retail store. And how about t-shirts? The chemicals contained in the synthetic dyes are toxic for the lungs factory workers and often contain microplastics that pollute waterways. It is therefore estimated that 35% of the world emission of microplastics is derived from the washing and rinsing of clothes. 5 $ does seem like a reasonable price to buy a shirt, but the cost, in terms of human capital and polluted shores is much higher than what the average consumer envisions when she picks up one piece of clothing from the shelf.

While the most salient obligation of fashion brands is indeed to change their production, distribution and marketing practices and strategies towards greater sustainability, many companies also have the opportunity to contribute to more balanced consumption models. Some Swedish fashion companies have established a business in second-hand fashion or have designed and implemented rental systems for the leasing of clothes and accessories. Other companies have shifted the production to fashion pieces that are of high quality and timeless design, i.e. of long-lasting design and durability. Other brands, like H&M for instance, have initiated gathering and recycling systems that encourage increased textile recycling. Fair trade and environmental labels have been increasingly disruptive in the sustainable fashion panorama, lobbying for the employment of accredited textiles to promote more conscious consumption patterns.

The efforts of these companies in striving to render their business as compatible as possible with global trends regarding sustainability are indeed commendable – however, one must still remember that in the end, agency is still in the hands, or better, in the wallets, of those seven billion human beings that are currently populating this Earth. As in an election, every time we enter our local shopping mall to refurnish our wardrobe, we are put in front of a choice. A choice that is not merely between cashmere or cotton, tie-dye or stripes, but rather between the consumeristic paradigms of the capitalistic society and a more sustainable future. And all of this, ladies and gentlemen, lies in our hands.


Hyeongmin Mentor

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Alice,

    Frankly speaking, I've never thought about the danger of fast fashion.
    By reading your report, now I totally agree with it. Nowadays, many people are trying to act for the environment and start living eco-friendly life style, but to think about 'Am I really living eco-friendly life from bottom to top' is necessary.
    I hope more and more people get to know the relationship between their cloths and sustainable future.

    Thank you for the great report.
    Posted 19-11-2019 00:38

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Alice

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about The dangers of fast fashion

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 16-11-2019 23:39

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Hello Alice,
    Thanks for your well articulated reports,
    keep writing and shining,
    We are eager to read much more from you,
    Posted 16-11-2019 13:01

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello alice
    I hope you are doing well
    The way the world is getting sophisticating by activities of many companies, people must think in the way of sustainability as well. And it's all in the hand of seven billion people.
    Very well written.
    Thank you so much for this report.
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 16-11-2019 12:02

Lisa Mentor

  • Lisa Mentor says :
    Hello Alice,
    this is your mentor Lisa!

    Fast fashion is one of the topics that I wish to put on the table for you guys yet I was hoping that someone could write about it:) Thanks for bringing it up!

    I think you have such a strong argument here, especially your last paragraph really resonates with me that it is not a simple matter of choosing between the materials of the clothing but rather of deciding how we are going to live and what we are going to pursue in our life. Capitalism has dominated our world for so long and in nearly every aspect of our life. Yet, if we start letting it penetrate into everything of us, there will be no other values to pursue except the greed.

    Shifting of the paradigm and changing our mindset is what we need when it comes to environmental problems. Sticking to our greedy life and trying to change only a few trivial manners will bring no changes.

    I really agree with you and I think the view that you have shared is truly an important value that we all have to think about.

    Thank you so much!
    Posted 15-11-2019 16:58

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Hello Alice!!
    I hope you are fine and doing great.
    I really enjoyed writing yours report.

    Keep writing and shining.
    Hope to know more from you.

    Warm regards,

    Posted 14-11-2019 22:58

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