Why We Need To Slow Down Our Fast Fashion Habits

Written by on June 14, 2012 in Fashion, Men, Women - Comments Off on Why We Need To Slow Down Our Fast Fashion Habits

In today’s busy world, it’s no surprise that as consumers, we like everything fast. From food to cars and now even fashion, we almost expect to be able to quickly dash into a mall and grab a dress for a night out for less than the cost of a bottle of wine. Well, that all sounds great, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why these clothes are just so cheap? And who is paying the price for this super speedy style?

The ‘Fast Fashion’ concept has continued to gather pace since the late 1990’s when brands began to look for new ways to make more money. By now, you’ve probably noticed yourself just how many brands are starting to compete against each other simply by introducing more lines per year and at lower and lower prices. The issue with this is that when something is made cheaply to be sold cheaply, the cost to the environment and the people making those products is often very, very high.

Clothing factory workers in developing countries are put under extraordinary pressure to get our fashion lines out of their door. Also, huge quantities of water are used to produce clothing. According to the Protected Water Fund, the production of one pair of jeans requires 11,000 litres of water. As our consumption grows, so too does the production of cotton. Farmers are forced to use large amounts of toxic pesticides to produce more and more cotton for less and less profit.

It’s pretty clear to see that clothing production is taking its toll on the earth’s resources, but it gets worse when you consider the end of the product’s lifecycle. Statistics suggest that the average UK consumer sends 30kgs of clothing and textiles to landfill each year, and that 1.2 million tonnes of clothing went to landfill in 2005 in the UK alone. So, what can be done to prevent this and encourage brands to start making clothes that take into account the environment, the health of consumers and the working conditions of people in the fashion industry?

With the eco-fashion industry still in its infancy, the main responsibility at the moment lies with clothes manufacturers and fashion designers. Why not use your power as a consumer to ask them to start making more sustainable forms of fashion? Also, wherever possible, reuse old items of clothing, whether by donating them to charity shops, reusing the fabric for Next time you go shopping; don’t forget that every item of clothing in every store has a price tag that’s being hidden from us. Not the one that tell us how much money to pay, but one that includes the underlying costs of every outfit’s life cycle.

Uncover the Secret Lives of Our Clothes before they got to the store:

About the Author


Stella is a fashionista 'avant la lettre'; food lover but lousy cook; pretty decent tennis player and sea swimmer; devourer of books; loving life.