IMAGE: GREENPEACE DETOX MY FASHION
HOW DOES FAST FASHION WORK?
"Instead of continuing the pattern of overconsumption through a 'fast fashion fix', companies have an opportunity to create products and services that represent true value and authentic experience, which also contribute to the adoption of more intrinsic values by customers and society as a whole." Greenpeace Timeout for Fast Fashion
The impact of clothes stretches beyond the large amounts of waste at the end of their lives. The production of clothes - from the raw materials, through to their processing, manufacturing and disposal - is releasing significant quantities of greenhouse gases and hazardous chemicals as well as depleting resources such as water and land. Workers in the supply chain are frequently underpaid and are exposed to unsafe and even deadly conditions, while local communities can also be affected by pollution and impacts on resources.
Much of current clothing relies on the use of unsustainable materials. Polyester, which is made from fossil fuels and can release synthetic microfibres into rivers and seas where it takes decades to degrade if at all, dominates the materials mix, with its use set to nearly double by 2020. Conventionally grown cotton, which uses large amounts of water
for irrigation as well as pesticides, fertilisers and GM seeds, is the second most utilized material. Large amounts of energy are also used to process, manufacture and care for our clothes, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, another reason why “the textile industry is considered one of the most polluting in the world”.
Sales of clothing have nearly doubled from $1 trillion Dollars in 2002 to $1.8 trillion dollars in 2015, projected to rise to $2.1 trillion by 2025. See FIG. 1.