Fast Fashion Pollutes. Lets address this today in this post.
This is not news nor is it groundbreaking, but it is ground polluting. Truly it is, so please excuse my pun. This is serious business and the overarching effects are not considered by many. Our distracted society is not focused on how their consuming habits are choking the planet, and this pertains to fashion, food, energy and every resource. But lets concentrate today on clothing, since I am a style blogger.
Some times we need images to make a point and to whit, I am pictured below in my mostly second-hand clothing. My bag makes one point quite well.
Fast Fashion Pollutes and is a threat to our environment.
The full extent of this is rarely discussed. It is the dirty little secret of the fast fashion world.. Think of the resources used to create a product that is worn for ever shorter seasons, and then likely ends up in landfills. As fast fashion speeds up style trends, a garment you purchase to be trendy, can feel dated in less that 3 months. I touched on this subject in a recent post.
A consumer’s need to conform to fashion dictums is wreaking havoc with our planet.
WE OPT TO RECYCLE, AND THAT IS A GOOD STEP, AN IMPORTANT STEP FOR MANY PRODUCTS, ESPECIALLY PLASTICS. BUT FOR CLOTHING, THE SAD TRUTH IS THAT MOST DONATED CLOTHES END UP IN LANDFILLS. ONCE THERE, IT POLLUTES- AS MUCH OF IT IS SYNTHETIC AND DOES NOT DEGRADE EFFICIENTLY. WHAT IT DOES DO, RATHER WELL I MIGHT ADD, IS LEACH TOXINS INTO THE SOIL. CANCER RATES WILL RISE FROM THIS ALONE.
According to Newsweek in 2016 almost 200,000 tons of textiles go to the dump every year from the city. It boggles the mind to even try to envisage that quantity. Let me provide two images to drive this point home. From onegreenplanet.org. this image speaks volumes and the source provides good data.
More compelling information is from this magazine. I urge YOU to read it.
Visualize how fast fashion pollutes.
From this source we learn that :
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2012, 84% of unwanted clothes in the US went into either a landfill or an incinerator.
Since 2000, according to Vice News, global clothing production has more than doubled in volume, the average consumer buys 60% more clothing every year, and keeps those clothing items for about half as long as they did approximately 15 years ago. This alarming trend continues to escalate as consumers trash their clothing at an increasing rate.
I don’t want to Shop Shame, now theres a term to tweet, but we should know how fast fashion pollutes and learn to be more mindful. Indeed I am quite the shopper myself. Some tips that I recommend .
- Buy high quality that will endure
- care for our clothing as the valuable resource it is
- know that when you donate clothes, it may be trashed , so please donate clean clothing
- invest in closet space when possible to keep clothing , as trends come and go
- when you get a yen for a new trend fix, shop vintage or second hand first
The first step to address this problem is to understand it. Fast Fashion pollute, but is here to stay and it does make clothing more affordable.
Many years ago I used to volunteer at a thrift store and the hospital it was affiliated with. I was shocked to see all of the donated clothing that was put in the dumpster. Many of us would wash and try to repair the clothing so it could be sold. I am actually quite the laundress!
Below another snap to take us back to the light hearted. Sort of, as at least I am smiling. My Old Navy skirt was shifted for $4.00 in Bridgehampton. My leather bag was thifted at a cancer shop in Westchester. I have worn each of these items about 100 times. I am no saint though, I do have items I seldom wear, but I certainly enjoy wearing them on those rare occasions- the special ones that punctuate a life.
I carry this bag with me for errands and avoid using plastic bags. First conserve, then recycle!
WE CAN AND SHLOUD ENJOY FASHION AS A MEANS OF SELF EXPRESSION. CLOTHING, AND THE ESPECIALLY THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEM, SHOULD BE REGARDED, AND CARED FOR. WHEN POSSIBLE, OPT FOR SLOW FASHION AND ENDURING QUALITY. FAST FASHION POLLUTES AND EACH ONE OF US CAN MINIMIZE THEIR PORTION OF THAT, BY SIMPLY BEING MINDFUL AND SLOWLY CHANGING OUR SHOPPING HABITS.
EXPLORE FASHION TRENDS AND DELVE INTO THE CREATIVE EXPRESSION THAT A GOOD WARDROBE CAN PROVIDE. BUT PLEASE ENJOY FASHION RESPONSIBLY!
I recommend these bloggers for inspiration on how to incorporate vintage, up-cycled clothing and accessories and look fabulous: SUZANNE, who also has an well curated ETSY shop, MELANIE, CHERIE , JODIE , JESS , PATTI , SHEILA , and GLENDA . I promise you will be in awe of their content!
Good places to shop second-hand are Goodwill, eBay , Etsy , and ThredUP . You can also become a Posher at Poshmark !
THANKS FOR READING!
What a fantastic skirt! I recently bought my first second hand garment. And it feels so good. So much better!
Thanks, it is 3 years old . I am glad that you found something you loved second hand ! Awesome!
You’ve raised important points. I try to be a socially responsible shopper but I do fall short of the glory from time to time. I’ve been a strong vintage shopper for over 10 years though and when I can, I prefer to get my pieces there. Not only is this a great way to keep ‘old clothes’ alve, the pieces can be more interesting/unique than what you’d find on the high street.
Have a lovely weekend ( :
PS good point about the public washing clothes before sending it to charity shops!
I also fall short, no perfection here! But I do appreciate everyone’s efforts to do what they can. Great point, and one I should have made about looking unique !
Interesting post! I have the chance to live in a country where recycling started a long time ago and I think we are one of the best performers in that domain! Have a great week-end!
That is wonderful Here in the US we are a bit behind on that. We do recycle but we also consume too much !
It’s a global problem, I hope there will be global solution(s) as well 🙂 Have a great day xx
Yes, I do hope so and appreciate that note of optimism !
Love your bag and what it is saying♥
Your jacket looks amazing?
I am so glad you do. My jacket is from a small locally owned store for children!
Thank you for the enlightenment. I don’t wear fast fashion and am glad even more so now. I appreciate that you shared this information. I always enjoy your blog. 🙂
Not sure why there is a green face appearing beside my name. I did not choose it!
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate that you take the time to read my blog! Happy weekend !
I ma sorry about the green face, it is a default setting for those who do have gravatars, i will try to change that in my settings! I am sure you do not resemble that! LOL.
Good for you to raise awareness of this. It is important for consumers to understand.
I am glad you think so, I know you are enlightened! Happy weekend!
As an almost exclusive vintage and second hand shopper, this is a subject close to my heart. I’m also quite the hoarder so I rarely re(donate). If I fall out of love with a garment, it will be put aside and re-evaluated later. I re-sell at a flea market once a year or give away any unwanted items to friends. I think fast fashion is vile. Recently, a well-known, dirt cheap fast fashion shop opened in my town. Wanting to know what the fuss was all about, I stepped inside and was repulsed at what I saw: cheaply made fashion… Read more »
Yes, it is sad. So many poorly made garments! I also give away clothes to friends, always to places or people who I know will want and wear them. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment and sharing your ideas here !
Wow what an inspiring post ! I am so much against fast fashion ! Your bag is so perfect ! I use tote bag for my grocery shopping to avoid any plastic ones !
I do the same. I’m so glad to know that many other people are also still very conscientious about this topic. . But be careful with groceries and make sure you wash them so you do not get salmonella contamination .
Have a nice week-end!
Thanks so much Gil!
I like the message behind the bad so true have a lovely mother’s day
I am glad Jackie and am not surprised ! YOU too doll!
I think that it is so great that you share such an important topic like this. I try to recycle as much of my old clothes as I can and I buy most of my clothes used. Thank you for creating awareness about the topic!
Thank you Freja for reinforcing this message and being so conscientious yourself!
Happy new week!
You are completely right in the entirety of this post. Out society just wants to get everything so quickly, right away, stat! And the truth is that things that take time to create, grow, be built are the ones which we should focus our attention to. I have many friends who have a great amount of clothes, full wardrobes, and I cant understand why and each year they add more! I asked once one of them why is she still buying clothes if she already has so many. She said she will donate and bla bla, but most of the… Read more »
I am so glad you agree. I sometimes buy fast fashion second-hand and find that if I wash it on gently cycle and am very careful, it will last. But the quality is not there, and the fabrics are cheap and toxic when they degrade. But we all have all faults, I am pleased that You are enlightened ! Hurrah !
What an informative post! Of course I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote. We only have one earth, why do we insist on destroying it with over consumption and greed? Every time I thrift I’m shocked by the treasures I find that people throw away, many of them with the tags still on. It is true that people no longer value clothing. They have a “wear it once and toss it” attitude. Creating value in the mind of the consumer when it comes to clothing is paramount. It feels like a losing battle when fast fashion keeps churning out the… Read more »
I am also surprised at what I see when I shop second hand. So many brand new items, but better donated than left unworn in a closet. I think some of this is coming from flashsale sights with no return policy?
I will look for that film, I am sure I will find it edifying. No some to worry about, so little time! Sincere praise regarding the shout out !
Wonderful, on-point post, Elle. I like to launder and fix things too, it feels good. Love your new-to-you look, xox
Yes, it does feel good! I also like to remove piling from sweaters, I know that is strange, I find it soothing though ! And then I can either rescue an older garment from a second and store or keep my sweaters in good shape!
First, I love your outfit, the tweed jacket is great with the denim skirt and that’s such an eye-catching bag! After I watched the documentary ‘the true cost’ I stopped to think about my shopping habits. I’m trying to shop less and I’m also trying to commit to wearing my clothes longer (adopting the 30 wears challenge) so I’m not as tempted to buy new things. I still shop, btu I’m trying to be more considerate with my purchases. I’ve always been a bit opshopper (thrift store shopper) too, although I haven’t had a lot of time to do that… Read more »
Thank you for that documentary suggestion. I will look for it. I know that you are super conscientious. I appreciate you!
Elle, it speaks again in your favour you wrote down here important and very serious words. I think everyone should think about the own consume, especially in the context of fast fashion. You are an outstanding good example that you buy wonderful pieces like you are showing today thrifted and you are the very best example that one can be dressed perfectly with this habit! Thanks for this post!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
Thank you Rena, that is kind.
I know also that you are a very conscientious shopper, only buying high quality.
This is a great topic and a great way to bring awareness. Elle. Something gotta change and I believe we’re on our way. You look wonderful. I will totally rock that denim skirt on you.Such a fun piece.
Thanks Missy May! Yes, I agree somethings got to give! This skirt is sooo comfy .
Oh, you are so sweet, thank you so much for the link-up to my blog, Elle! You’re hitting all my buttons here on this topic – I’m boggled that people don’t shop second-hand for anything, when there are so many great items out there! “Recycle or Die” is dramatic, but it gets the point across!
You’re such a great proponent of this cause. Have you read “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion”? It’s a very good read on this topic.
Love your outfit – and you know I love that you’re wearing two second-hand and well-worn items!
Its dramatic and a bit off base, it should say conserve or die, but I do actually thing we as a species are in peril..
I have not, but will look for it– thanks so much for the suggestion
Very lovely look, and so true! This is why I am embracing a minimalist lifestyle now and I often use reusable items now.
xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY
Yay you Alyssa! That is laudable and wonderful to hear! So pleased that you set a great example!
Since I started my blog years ago I’ve become aware of how clothes and fast fashion are terrible pollutants. Since then I’ve begun a thrifting journey that has been SO rewarding, not only that, I also try to spread the word. Make people conscious. Great post.
I am so glad that you are also aware of this and appreciate how conscientious you are!
Such an important topic, and you covered it well. It’s alarming that now my favourite thrift shops are getting in more and more fast fashion items – the quality pieces are disappearing altogether in the churn or they are simply moving up the ladder to higher price-point shops. This should not concern me, though, because I should not be thinking about buying more stuff. Stuff. STUFF!!! I love the quality of your pieces and how eclectic you are in throwing together fabulous outfits, Elle. It’s art. Thank you for the mention too.
True, and sadly I am buying them! There is still plenty of fabulous older couture here in NYC, and that is always on point . you just have to travel here and I will take you shopping. …
The clothes clutter look unappealing. I really appreciate stuff like this. Your bag already tells the story of all the positive energy you are about to give.
StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova
I’m really glad you wrote this and showed photographs of how much of the clothes we donate ends up in a landfills .It’s alarming to say the least and important to bring up the awareness. I’m well aware of Recycling plastic which I’ve been doing for years, I have no idea so much clothing that I’ve donated would end up In a landfill ! I will now be cleaning my clothes before I donate. Thank you for bringing this up for always finding amazing vintage purchase those that are inexpensive and where they looks so wonderful on you ! I’m… Read more »
Thank you for your thoughtful comment and how conscientious you are !
I know those photos are a rude awakening!
Such an important post. Thank you for sharing it. We all should be spreading the word!
For years almost my entire wardrobe was thrifted, I rarely bought retail. But I wear such a large size right now it’s hard to find second-hand in my size. That’s not an excuse, I do still look, just not as often as before, knowing the odds are not in my favor. But you’ve reminded me to continue to make the effort. And I will.
just that fact that you are self aware is the most important. You are limited with what is available, I get that! Don’t beat yourself up!