The Environmental Cost of Fast Fashion By Patsy Perry

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 “Women Walk Past Tannery Wastewater That Is Being Pumped From a Factory Straight Into The Street, in Cairo’s Ain el-Sirra District”   Reuters

Although Fast Fashion is quite tempting as it is “inspired by catwalk looks or celebrity styles”, with cheaper and quicker production. However, when it gains more attraction in business, Fast Fashion destroys environment deeply. “Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture”. Because of the toxic chemicals synthetic dye contains, the damage to river, ocean is detrimental, many of these chemicals are “bio-accumulative (meaning the substance builds up in an organism faster than the organism can excrete or metabolize it), disruptive to hormones and carcinogenic.”

Fast Fashion also increases the plantation of cotton, which requires toxic chemical use for pesticides. Such a large use is tremendously harmful to organism, for example, it caused an US cotton farmer’s death from a brain tumour “and serious birth defects in Indian cotton farmers’ children”, shown in documentary called The True Cost. Although some companies as H&M, Inditex are increasing investment in organic cotton, the general use of organic cotton is “less than 1 per cent of the world’s total annual cotton crop.”

One factor Fast Fashion causes numerous environmental issues is that it is a worldwide scale business, it quickly changes and discards the new and old styles, which leads to textile waste “as more people buy more clothes and don’t keep them as long as they used to”. In addition, with more access and wealth that are brought by technologies, people are less likely to repair clothes like sewing, but instead just discard the old one and buy a new cloth. While the “habit” of recycling or donating only take a small portion in street stores. How about other alternatives? Maybe choosing eco-friendly fabric? Actually, “Recycled content is often best of all, as it reduces the pressure on virgin resources and tackles the growing problem of waste management.” For instance, Patagonia recycle plastic bottles to produce polyester fleece.

Link to the original article:

YS Ding, Posted on Sep.10 2018

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