What is Fast Fashion?
Fast Fashion is rapid design, production and distribution of products, however these products are not always purchased by customers, which consequently leads to lots of wasted clothes that have been left out and thrown out.
The problems caused by Fast Fashion include:
Textile waste- The clothes sold in fast fashion are cheap and trendy, resulting in certain customers throwing away their clothes.
CO2 emissions- The carbon pollution happens due to the sheer amount of waste in landfills, this evidently has a negative impact on the environment.
Water pollution- The clothing items may contain microplastics, made from recycled water bottles, and when these clothing items are sitting in a landfill they are subject to rain, therefore the tiny pieces of plastic are flushed into water systems, ultimately resulting in it making it's way towards the ocean.
Hazardous labour conditions- To make the large amount of clothes produced, employees work extremely long hours. Despite their hard efforts, they are severely underpaid, in some cases even children are employed which is extremely unethical. Workers can also be exposed to dangerous chemicals and dyes.
Despite these problems, fast fashion can be good for countries' economies, as it brings in high amounts of money, which can be beneficial for poorer countries.
I feel that the negative effects of fast fashion, however, out weigh the positives.
Who is responsible for the problems with Fast Fashion?
The company Zara is one of the first fashion companies made and it managed to sell massive amounts of products in a little amount of time. I believe that this could have influenced other companies to pursue the same methods, as a result of their success.
There are many other companies that have the same methods of mass sales, these include:
These companies also contribute to the issue within the industry of fast fashion. Moreover these companies, with the addition of other fast fashion based brands contribute to 10 percent of global carbon emissions and 20 percent of global waste water.
What are the links between power and responsibility?
The companies that use fast fashion often have control of the consumers. They often rely on them purchasing lots of clothes at once or coming back more, this therefore gains the company money and also, arguably more valuable power over the customers. This control and power over the customer is as a result of them wanting to buy more clothes, due to the products including a low price and trendy style. However, on the account of the customer purchasing more clothes, this contributes to more carbon emissions, more unethical working for employees, more water pollution and an increase in textile waste. The company should take responsibility over this and sell batches of clothes slower and in smaller quantities, therefore reducing the negative impact on the environment that they create. Most companies, on the other hand, do not take responsibility over their unethical actions and focus on the money that they can gain, losing their attention on their impact on the environment and merely focusing on methods of making lots of money.
In summary, I believe that companies that use fast fashion as a selling point should slow down the production of products and distribute products in smaller quantities to overall reduce impact on the environment. Furthermore, I think that workers should be paid fairly, and the subtraction of the amount of clothes being distributed, means that the workers will have more fair jobs, requiring reasonable amounts of work, no overworking.