Sustainability is something which is becoming a massive part of our lives and something which I hope everyone is playing a part in. At the minute, as we all know the main issue our planet is having is climate change, pollution and the overall effects that are happening to our planet.
I want to talk about the fashion industry and the effects this has on our environment. For people who are in the fashion industry, sustainability plays a massive part.
For me, as a fashion student sustainability is key for many reasons as it is for many other people in and out of the industry. There are many different reasons why the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. But one of the main factors is fast fashion.
Fast fashion is the process of making garments quick so that brands are able to keep up with the constant fashion trends. For a brand, they want to produce clothing that is in trends at a low cost. For this to happen fast fashion takes place but has negative effects.
The effects this has on our planet are never ending, for example land fills. Once the fast fashion garments have been worn and no longer wanted they end up being thrown out into a landfill. A figure of 235m items are sent there a year.
Next is the amount of water used to create garments is extreme (2700 litres of water is used to make one cotton t-shirt) so for high streets brands such as primark and boohoo they are using a high amount of water to create the amount of garments needed in order to keep up with the trends.
Pollution is also a massive part in the fashion industry let alone for the fast fashion industry. CO2 is released when unwanted clothes are burned this then contributes to global warming.
The last effect I am going to take about is the workers that produce these clothes. Roughly 75 million people work to make our clothes. Some of these people work extremely long hours for little pay. Not only this but they’re working in poor and unsafe conditions. This then also impacts there health. On 24th April 2013 in Bangladesh the Rana Plaza building collapsed, this sadly killed 1,138 people and 2,500 people were injured. This disaster was due to the poor conditions of the building. However, I do believe this event has helped to create better environments in some places.
HOW WE CAN HELP
As people who love fashion we want to be able to keep up with trends and showcase how to style garments, however there are ways to do this in order to help the environment.
Recycling garments- swapping unwanted clothes with friends/ family members is a good idea if you want new pieces in your wardrobe. This stops you from going out and buying new garments, instead your giving older clothes a new sense of life. (@bigsisterswap on instagram is a page that can do this for you. You send unwanted clothes to them and in return they send items to you that have been loved before and no longer wanted as well.)
Up cycling garments- up cycling garments is a way to make your old and unwanted clothes into something new and fresh. Whether it’s as simple as cutting jeans into shorts or using a few garments and making them into a completely new garment.
Re-wearing clothes- re-wearing your clothes is so important. Making sure your getting the most out of an item. Whether it’s styling it in a new way or just wearing it out again. This stops you from wanting new clothes and your making the clothes you own feel new by styling them in a new way.
Considering a purchase- really thinking whether you need to buy this item or multiple items. Making sure that it’s something you will wear a lot not something you’ll wear once, as this helps me to only buy items that are easy to wear all year round, that I can style in many ways and to help stop me from buying unnecessary items.
Personally I believe there are many different ways we can all help to improve our environment and the planet. Starting of as little as you want still helps and it’s a start to a better a future! Even occasionally/ slowing the amount of clothes you buy from fast fashion places still helps instead of doing it constantly… as I’m sure we all love bargains.
I hope you enjoyed this read and thank you for taking this time to read it. It’s much appreciate however I do just want to say I am no expert this is my opinion.
Lots of love
Grace Poppy x