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Chile's desert dumping ground for fast fashion leftovers. | Source: Martin Bernetti / AFP

How much do our wardrobes cost to the environment?

The industry is extremely wasteful and polluting with most products ending up in an incinerator or a landfill. The chemicals used in these systems often find their way into rivers & oceans.

Brands want to be able to jump onto the latest trends, which requires a fast and flexible response from the factories making clothes. This pressure to quickly produce clothing leads to pressure on workers who work long hours. Prioritizing production and speed results in a relaxation of health and safety standards. This means that the cost fashion's prioritization of fast linear production  is paid for by the workers exposed to dangerous circumstances.

Fast fashion's volume and velocity of production causes immense environmental and ecological stress. Under the current system, new clothing production requires vast amounts of water and massive areas of land to grow the raw materials.

Large amounts of non-renewable resources are used to create clothing. Greenhouse gas emissions like CO2 are released into the atmosphere. Continuing on this current track, the clothing industry is set to increase emissions by as much as 60%. That means that by 2050 the industry could use up more than 26% of our global carbon budget.


Slow fashion movement: fashion's next big trend.

Slow Fashion is the main contraposition to fast fashion. It’s a thoughtful way of living and buying that is meant to stop, or at least slow down, the excessive production and mindless consumption that characterize the typical consumerism of our time.

The term “Slow Fashion” was first coined by author and design activist Kate Fletcher. She defines Slow Fashion “as quality-based rather than time-based, it encourages slower production, combines sustainability with ethics, and invites consumers to invest in well-made and lasting clothes.”

Slow fashion is meant to make consumers re-evaluate their relationship to clothes, by combining brands’ values with customer’s shopping habits. The movement philosophy is based on working towards an industry that benefits the planet as well as all people. The main goal to achieve is to make Slow Fashion the only kind of fashion. 

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