Fast fashion, destroying the world

Did you know that by purchasing from certain brands you might be contributing greatly to a problem that affects us all?

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Wiki Commons: Cezary p

A landfill full of clothes and trash.

Atlas Harmon, Reporter

You just bought a bunch of new clothes for a great price, or was it? It is estimated that the average item of clothing is worn only 14 times until it is ruined or thrown away.

In 2019, one in three people aged 18-24 considered items worn more than twice to be old.

Fast fashion is brands that mass produce cheap clothing at a rapid pace. This is slowly destroying the environment by creating more fashion items than the population can use, and the quality of these items is awful, so most of the garments end up degrading in landfills. 

Clothing that is mass-produced is not good for anyone. Getting new clothes is tons of fun, but only being able to wear them a few times before they fall apart? That makes it so that you can’t even donate it for someone else to use. 

I was always taught to donate the clothes I do not wear or like anymore but if it is falling apart at its seams because of poor manufacturing, it will not be of any use to anyone, the fabric can not even be reused. 

An article posted in October of 2021 states “The rise of fast fashion has been heavily dependent on synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and elastane, which are made from heavily processed petrochemicals (fossil fuels). These materials are cheap to produce – polyester, for example, costs half as much per kilo as cotton.”  Manufacturing clothing with these materials is less expensive for major companies, and as we all know, fossil fuels aren’t great for the environment. 

While at the moment it might be cheaper to use these productions methods, in the long run, it will cost all of us a lot. 

One of the biggest issues with fast fashion is trends. A few years ago ‘trend seasons’ were only four a year. One for summer, spring, autumn, and winter, respectively. But in more recent years there are 2 or 3 a month which is more than 4x the number of pieces a consumer must purchase to stay trendy and stylish.

The majority of the pieces end up contributing to the already growing piles of clothing decaying in landfills. 

Even if you donate these pieces after you use them it is possible that no one will be able to use them. 

In Ghana, fifteen million articles of clothing are donated on weekly basis, however, Ghana has a population of around thirty million, and it is not possible for everything to be used. Additionally, many of these clothing articles are made of poor quality materials that dyeing, re-sewing, and other upcycling techniques can not be used on without the fabric falling apart. 

Another problem with fast fashion is influencers. These are people with money falling out of their ears who can afford all the latest designers. In an effort to look, be or feel more like them, there is massive pressure to buy everything that looks like what they have. 

Influencers live an extremely lavish lifestyle that pushes other people to want to be as like them as they can for many reasons. However, living this way is unobtainable for most people so they turn to companies like Shien, Top Shop, or Urban Outfitters for clothing that is affordable and in style.

According to minimalismmadesimple.com, these companies don’t use sustainable methods to produce their products, further contributing to the growing problem of fast fashion.