When you walk into a fast fashion retail store, you will notice, that each month they have tonnes of new pieces added to their collection. New products hit store shelves every couple of days. Though the processing time is a mere number of weeks, you never stop to wonder all the damage it might have done along the way.
Fashion production makes up 10% of the global carbon emissions and 85% of the textiles go into dumpsters, rivers and the ocean every year. As fast fashion becomes more accessible and affordable, who needs to wear the same piece of clothing again? Right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong.
If we were to become mindful of our contributions to this waste, we might actually set ourselves up for a better future. There are many companies that are now promoting slow, sustainable fashion. Companies such as H&M, Levi’s and many more have jumped the slow fashion bandwagon. Patagonia, a globally recognised retailer, supports over 72,000 people through their participation in the Fairtrade programme and 64% of the fabrics they use are made from recycled materials. Toms donates a pair of shoes to someone in need every time you make a purchase. All Birds has made it their mission to account for all their carbon footprint and produce their clothing primarily through sustainable materials obtained through regenerative practices. Also, All Birds has made sustainability goals which they wish to achieve by 2025 and invite other brands to do the same.
Similarly, Van Velze & Smith Leather donates a pair of rugby boots to children in South Africa with every purchase. VVS Leather believe that while developing their own brand is crucial, it is also equally important to help those that they can through their line of work.
Often when shopping from places that promote sustainability, you get a reward or a feel-good reinforcement. When you show support to a sustainable fashion retailer, often what you’re doing, intentionally or unintentionally, is promoting the use of cruelty-free products, less textile waste, encouraging fair labour practices and adequate working conditions, saving water and reducing your carbon footprint. The feeling of positively impacting the environment can be great. Not only do you get to wear what you want, but also you are contributing to saving the planet in a small, but not insignificant way by doing so!
Shoppers all around the world are slowly coming to terms with the fact that their contributions do make a difference and many people have started making a switch to slower fashion manufacturers. Do we think fast fashion is just a fad? Absolutely. Is it going away anytime soon? Not if we continue to fund it!
Know better, do better! GJ