Clothing today is more affordable than ever, which means closets are filled with a wide variety of choices. In fact, we now have five times more clothes than our grandparents. This trend is called Fast Fashion – and it has serious consequences for our health, our planet, and garment workers’ lives.
On average, consumers get only five wearings out of each garment. This results from declining quality and mass production of inexpensive, disposable clothing. Additionally, rapidly changing trends lead to the need for endless purchasing to keep up to date.
Environmentally, the fashion industry is already one of the largest polluters in the world. And, Fast Fashion only makes this worse. Only 15% of Fast Fashion is recycled or donated. Consequently, the rest goes directly to the landfill or is incinerated. This is only the tip of the iceberg. But we can make a difference.
What can we do about it?
- Buy less. Even the greenest garment uses resources for production and transport to your home, creating some environmental impact. In fact, the CEO of Patagonia said, “The most environmentally sustainable jacket is the one that’s already in your closet.” Think twice. Do you need that shirt in five colors?
- Buy sustainable brands. Fashion brands are increasingly considering their production’s environmental and social impact. While limited and may be more expensive, the long-term impact is worth the investment. Do your research.
- Invest in quality. When we limit purchases to high-quality items, you can enjoy them longer. In addition to being good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet.
- Don’t throw clothes away. Try these other options.
- Repair them.
- Donate your clothes.
- Sell them on second-hand apps.
- Use them as rags, make quilts, or upcycle them in other ways.
- Put them in the textile recycling bin – many can be recycled to make new clothing.
- Buy second hand, swap, or rent. Instead of buying new clothing, have a look at alternative options.
- Use a laundry service (like Flair Wash & Fold) to reduce electricity, gas, and water usage.
- Use eco-friendly dry cleaning like Flair GreenEarth.