The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. Producing fabrics and other raw materials often uses toxic chemicals, huge amounts of water, and fossil fuels. Packaging and transporting raw materials and finished items around the world uses even more materials and energy.
How fast can be harmful
The rise of fast fashion has resulted in even more pressures on the planet with vast amounts of low quality, inexpensive clothing. Fashion trends are cycled through more quickly than ever to increase demand for the latest designs. The result is basically “disposable” clothing meant to be worn only a few times. Unsold clothing is often destroyed by retailers, rather than being donated or repurposed. In any case, the sheer volume of clothing being produced is so large that thrift and charity stores can’t resell the majority of what they receive in donations.
Of course the true costs of fast fashion aren’t just environmental - there’s a human cost, too. Workers in fast fashion factories are often poorly paid and can even face significant health and safety risks.
Increasing recognition of the environmental and social costs of fast fashion have led to the development of the slow fashion movement. Supporters advocate for a more thoughtful approach to clothing production and consumption, with a focus on quality over quantity. Clothing producers are continuously looking for ways to improve sustainability of the materials they use and the overall production process. There’s also an emphasis on durability and making clothes meant to last for years instead of just a couple wears. Meanwhile, consumers aim to make more thoughtful purchases, and invest in fewer, higher-quality pieces.
What can you do?
Like many, we’re relatively new to the slow fashion movement. Here’s a few tips we’ve found helpful as we work toward becoming more conscious clothing consumers, as shared with Juicy Green Mom: