Slowing Down Fast Fashion
By Emily Lomax
The modern-day fashion climate has shifted heavily towards inexpensive, short-lived products and styles, that enable increased production, consumption, and disposal of clothing. The increased rate at which fashion collections turnover, and at which individuals are buying and getting rid of clothing has resulted in profound, unseen impacts on the environment, the economy, and especially on human health and well-being. This article discusses the true impacts of the modern-day textile industry and provides steps that we can take towards a wardrobe that is healthier for us, our planet, and all those impacted.
Fast Fashion: A system in which inexpensive clothing is produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to latest trends. A fast fashion system, requiring minimal expense and production time, allows firms to react quickly to changing consumer demand by replenishing inventory and introducing more fashion styles.
Slow Clothes Movement: Buying, wearing, and passing on clothing in ways that allow for more time between the production and disposal of an item.
Total greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the textiles industry is 1.2 billion tonnes annually (more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined).2
Hazardous substance released during textile production affect the environment. 2
Fast fashion tends towards synthetic materials, which can be produced more rapidly and release plastic microfibers resulting in half a million tonnes of ocean pollution every year.2
Many textile workers are subject to unsafe working environments and the hazardous substance used and released during production unfair wages. High production demands can lead to workers suffering poor working conditions with long hours and low wages.2,5
More than USD 500 billion dollars are lost each year from clothing underutilization and lack of recycling. 2
It costs more
The high turnover of fast fashion results, individually, in more money being spent on lower quality items that have minimal longevity. (see below)
It can negatively impact health and well-being
Having too many clothing options can increase anxiety, resulting from the paradox of choice (having too many options to choose from).3
Clutter, resulting from too many clothes can also cause an increase in anxiety.4
The human health risks of a significant number of chemicals used to turn raw materials into textiles are unknown. 2
It takes more time
Shorter life spans of items means that individuals have to spend much more time shopping, managing, and disposing of their clothes.
|Clothing Item||Shirt purchased from retail outlet known for its less-expensive options||Shirt purchased from a boutique or retail outlet||Shirt purchased from a consignment store|
|Material||Polyester||Cotton-wool blend||Cotton-wool blend|
|Longevity||6 months (requires multiple replacements)||3+ years||3 years|
You can take an active role in stepping back from fast fashion, by extending the lifespan of clothing items and using the following steps when you obtain, use, and discard of your garments.
Bringing Clothes In
Be critical about if and how you obtain new clothes.
Wearing Clothes Well
Extend the longevity of your garments by taking proper care of them.
Learn more about how to take care of your clothing here.
Passing Clothes On
Be mindful about how you decide to pass on your clothes.
June 19, 2019
The University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) announced that Johanne Blenkin has stepped down from her role as UNA... Read More
December 6, 2018
The UBC-UNA Neighbourhoods Liaison Committee was formalized in April 2018 as part of the evolving partnership between... Read More
October 5, 2018
Did you know that sustainability includes financial, social, and environmental factors? While sustainability is often... Read More
February 16, 2018
We have received a short notice from UBC and Fortis BC regarding a gas leak in their transition line feeding UBC... Read More
October 20, 2017
Campus and Community Planning is seeking applications for the volunteer position of Resident Member on the Development... Read More
September 18, 2017
The UNA’s Parking management strategy in Hawthorn Place is meant to meet the need for on-street parking for Hawthorn... Read More
June 13, 2017
Due to required UNA bylaw changes, there is a delay in the inclusion of Central tenants in UNA jurisdiction. This means... Read More
February 23, 2017
Please note the following events will be taking place on campus on March/April 2017. This may affect traffic and roads... Read More
November 5, 2016
Halloween is over, friends. If you're anything like me, your pants are a little tighter and you've sworn off candy for... Read More