It’s the beginning of the year, time to hit those clearance racks and find those fashionable goods that were overlooked over the holiday season. Like any other bargain hunter, I find it hard to resist a great deal, but with the way things have been going as of late it’s easier to find deals and grab cheap apparel anytime you hit the mall to shop. According to a study done by Greenpeace, compared to 15 years ago, we’re shopping much more than we used to reaching an increase of 60%.
On average, a person buys roughly 60 articles of clothing a year, which proves that the industry of fast fashion isn’t slowing down anytime soon. For those unfamiliar with the term, fast fashion refers to the constant manufacturing of trendy clothing at low prices. Sounds like a great idea from the consumer perspective, but unbeknownst to the average person, this is causing a lot of harm to the planet due to the mass amount of pollution that comes with manufacturing. Out of the top 5 leaders in waste, fashion comes in at number 2, behind oil and gas.
Now not all fast fashion is bad, for example H&M, one of the leaders in fast fashion, has introduced the Conscious Collection to help bring light to the situation. H&M takes in recycled materials to create new products, and in 2013 launched a program to collect unused garments used towards the recycling process.
But What Can I Do About It?
So you’re shocked by the frightening statistics of fast fashion and looking to do something about it? Here are some things to keep in mind:
• Think long and hard about something before you buy it. Will this last longer than a month in your clothing rotation? Something to keep in mind when looking to reduce your carbon imprint.
• Focus less on quantity, more on the quality. Do you absolutely have to have it now and foresee yourself keeping it for the rest of your life? If not, maybe you should hang it back up.
• If have to buy something new because everything you own is falling apart, or maybe looking for a gift for someone else, do some research before you purchase, look out for sustainable brands, they do exist.
We have the power to change things and dictate the fate of our environment. Any changes that we make are still changes, they may be slow at first but a collaborative effort is what we aspire for the future.