The fast fashion industry is slowly killing the Earth.
Brands like Shein, H&M or Primark produce lots of clothes every year, for example, H&M produces 3 billion garments per year. Clothes that are made for fast fashion brands are mass produced, which means lots of clothes are made at one time. Mass production of clothes means there are more garments but the quality is worse.
The clothes rip and fall apart easily, and people throw them away after wearing them for a short amount of time. All that fast fashion piles up in landfills, because it can’t be recycled. In one year, 92 million tons of textile waste ends up in landfills. This is the equivalent of one rubbish truck of clothes being dumped into landfills every second!
Anothing the fast fashion industry is doing to pollute the earth is the way they produce the garments, for example, dying clothes. Dying the textiles to make clothes uses 200 tonnes of water per 1 ton of fabric. That already sounds horrible, but then we have to think about how the fast fashion industry dyes about 80 billion tonnes of fabric per year. Now that is a lot of water that is being wasted.
The dirty water is let out into the nearby rivers and streams making the water polluted and grimy. The people living near the water have nothing to drink and can get dangerous diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea or hepatitis A if they do drink the water.
Creating fast fashion also pollutes oceans by releasing microplastics in them. The way these microplastics are sent into the ocean is that when we wash them, the microplastics are shed from clothes. The clothes are shedding them because they are made of plastic-based materials, eg polyester. Fish eat the microplastics and the fish are eaten by other sea creatures, finally being eaten by us.
How can we help to stop fast fashion from polluting the Earth though?
We can do many things to help. One suggestion is to buy clothes second hand. These clothes have already been used, but are in good condition, so you can still wear them. Buying second hand can help the environment because you are giving the clothes a second life instead of them being thrown away. Buying second hand reduces the amount of carbon emissions too.
What do you think we can do to stop fast fashion from killing the Earth?