By: Emily Bracher
Brands such as Shein and Romwe have recently become very popular due to their low prices for clothing, makeup, and accessories. These are all a part of the fast fashion industry, which is inexpensive clothing produced at rapid rates to keep up with latest trends. However with these benefits comes a lot of consequences that make it an unethical industry prone to high levels of pollution.
First off, fast fashion contributes to over ten percent of all carbon emissions worldwide. This adds up to about 3.4 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide released every year, making it the 2nd biggest CO2 producer, behind oil and gas. It’s not just adding toxic gases to our atmosphere, but fast fashion companies are also draining our water supply, making them the second largest water consumer.
Not only does fast fashion affect the environment, but most companies exploit their workers. A lot of the clothes made by this industry are made by the hands of children. Other workers are not even paid a living wage, meaning they don’t get enough money for necessities.
To put things more into perspective, global consumption is around 150 billion articles of clothing and 85% of that ends up in a landfill. As of 2020, we purchase 400% more clothing than what we did 20 years ago.
There are so many different options when shopping for clothes. When concerned about price, thrifting is always a good option, some stores have a wide selection. Many other companies include clothing that is organic and recyclable. They also can be worn for more than three wears, unlike many fast fashion items that are made out of poor material that doesn’t last long. For more information, the organization CHNGE campaigns against fast fashion and sells sustainable clothing here.