As coined by Wikipedia, ”fast fashion” is a term used to describe the process in which designs move quickly from catwalk to retailers. It operates on the idea of manufacturing Quickly and inexpensively to allow the mainstream consumer to buy current clothing styles at a lower price. The demand for fast fashion has been influenced drastically by social media and our obsession with movie stars and fashion weeks.
However, we often tend to ignore the realities of how the products are being manufactured and in what conditions.
Let’s look into how it effects the environment and our lives. While shuffling though the racks of high fashion, trendy, chic looking low cost polyester or synthetic cotton clothes, the environment is the least of our concerns.
Let’s throw some light on the vicious cycle that we are trapping ourselves in when opting to buy such clothes.
In order to meet the low price targets and increasing demands of the markets, fashion brands have shifted their focus from quality to quantity by manufacturing the products from less expensive materials such as polyester to cheap cotton blends along with the use of toxic dyes which in turn puts the environment at risk by leaking into the soil and water. Although, these products are not meant to last long and they become obsolete after a few washes. So, we tend to cycle through more clothes than required. These non-biodegradable materials, are then disposed into the landfills. Such low cost pocket friendly products are highly fashionable but exposure to such fabrics and chemicals in the longer run is hazardous to our health casing a number of skin related problems. Due to lack of awareness, one might think that they are wearing Cotton but in reality it can be just another chemical blend.
The harmful toxic chemicals such as nonylphenol which is used in the dyes, could be linked to cancers and allergic reactions as it is a bio-accumulative, meaning that it builds up in the body risking our health. Although the use of this chemical is forbidden in the first world countries but it is still being used in most of the developing countries including India putting the lives of many in danger. Studies show that nonylphenol is harmful for pregnant women /causes breast cancer/ affects our digestive system etc.
Now that you are well aware of the adverse effects of Fast fashion industry, you should make better choices while shopping next time. Always, remember any small effort against fast fashion is a big contribution towards better environment and life. Someone just quoted it right