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Can we make fast fashion sustainable?

After major setbacks in the last year and in the beginning of the year 2020, even the least bothered or less aware section of society will be pushed to make conscious choices when it comes to buying sustainable clothing. Even though the devastating damage has been done for decades, the results can be clearly seen today.  In the past, people never thought of the harm that was caused by exploiting the resources while manufacturing a clothing item. If the repercussions were investigated and revealed a couple of years ago to the large consuming population, the desolation would have seen another curve. Today the fact staring in the face of The fashion Industry is that Fast Fashion is a massive threat to the planet!!

Let us find out some facts related to such Fast Fashion Trends:

What is fast fashion?

The advent of cheap trendy clothes and fashion items produced for the fast consuming contemporary population is called Fast Fashion. The problem with Fast Fashion is that the new fashion collections are designed, manufactured, and marketed in the retail units every season, at the cost of energy and environmental damage. It emphasizes on the behaviour patterns of the fashion mongers to fulfill their obsession of compulsive shopping, becoming absolute slaves to the variety that the fast fashion offers.

Facts about Fast Fashion

  • 1 billion garments per year
  • The overall profit of the fashion industry is USD 3 trillion per annum. More than one billion items are produced every year, worn, and dumped, the production of which is causing immense burden on the natural resources. 

  • Carbon emission
  • More than 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (5% of the global emission volume) is released in the atmosphere by the factories.

  • Water exploitation
  • Fresh water of over 80 billion cubic meters has been used by this industry in 2015 causing tremendous shortage of water around the world.

  • Usage of chemicals
  • More than 3500 different processing chemicals are used to manufacture fast fashion items.

  • Petrochemicals play a major role
  • More than 63% of the entire produce of the fast fashion industry is made from petrochemical byproducts that causes much harm to living beings.

  • Cheap labor exploitation
  • More than 97% of the fast fashion brands are manufactured in third world countries due to cheap labor. Most of the countries do not provide basic rights to the workers.

    Fast Fashion can be made sustainable

    We can easily conclude that the price paid by the environment is much higher than the cost of fast fashion. Sustainable choices are being developed by leading brands in the industry now as it is the need of the hour. Following a new business model allows the proper transformation of fast fashion to a sustainable platform.

     

    Opting a few major reforms and ethics in the Fashion Industry the environmental impact of fast fashion can be reduced with the measures mentioned below: 

  • High-quality Natural Fibers
  • Developing top-quality natural fiber is the first step to such a transformation of the fast fashion industry. The use of 100% organic long-lasting fiber will reduce the use of petrochemical artificial fibers thus reducing the carbon footprint to a large extent.

  • Less-water and electricity consuming methods
  • The sustainable processes require less amount of water to prepare the fibres to manufacture the  clothing items. Natural and organic processes also consume far less energy and electricity to prepare sustainable fabrics with much evolved technology of spinning today.

  • Long-lasting designs 
  • The industry will now move on to long-lasting designs to reduce the number of clothes produced and bought every year. Sustainable products are not only durable but are breathable and superior in quality as well. 

  • Renewable resources 
  • As mentioned earlier, the use of renewable resources like wind and solar energy, biomass and hydropower will be increased to a considerable extent. Using fossil fuels and fresh water should be reduced. 

  • Recycling technology 
  • The leading brands are now moving forward to grab the latest recycling technologies and introducing them to the process of manufacturing sustainable fabrics. This noble step will create a path that every brand can follow and make this industry more viable. 

    Tackling the problems of the fast fashion Industry is an immediate need of the hour to bring a change in the environment as well as in the behaviour patterns and in the mindset of the people. Many big brands have already started upgrading their machineries and adapting to reformation with enzyme technologies, that will help in delivering time and cost effective innovation, produce high quality products and cut out on impurities.

    We are now literally moving into a new era where we will witness a revolution in the fashion industry by building a solid foundation towards sustainable growth in the truest sense.

     

    Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-05-08

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