Article: What is Fast Fashion and Why is it a Problem?

This article was eye-opening to just how much fast fashion contributes to the many problems of global warming and how little big fast fashion brands like Boohoo and Shien are doing to help or prevent these issues. Fast fashion contributes to plastic pollution, microplastic pollution, water pollution, water overconsumption, textiles waste and poor working conditions. A lot of fast fashion is fuelled by people who need to have the most on-trend clothes and the new mindset that once you wear an item a couple of times, it is old. I also found it interesting that our overconsumption of clothing is still a relatively new and still rising problem, as per the first fact, and that many fast fashion brands are choosing to move the production back to the UK, so that they can meet the demand for the clothes quicker, with better equipment.

Some facts pulled from the article:

  • The average person buys 60 % more clothes than in the 2000s
  • Some clothes go from the design stage to on sale in 10 days.
  • The UK buys more clothes than any other country in Europe.
  • Shien, a brand that says this: “When selecting materials, we do our best to source recycled fabric, such as recycled polyester.” in fact has a recycled content of 0.5%.
  • Every year the clothing sector uses 93 billion cubic metres of water, which is enough to meet the consumption needs of 5 million people.
  • Clothes release half a million tonnes of microplastics every year, which is equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles.
  • Microplastics have been found in unborn babies placenta.
  • Out of the 92 million tonnes of clothing waste each year, only 1% is recycled.

In my final piece, I want to make the concept of fast fashion more sustainable and create something that could be worn over and over again. I want to create a top that can be buried or thrown in the compost and will decompose once you are tired of wearing it, and patchwork trousers which I could make from patches of the client’s old clothes and other sentimental textiles or just general textile waste. The pair of trousers I want to make will be for me, as I want to be able to wear them after the project has finished so that I am not just making something that no one will ever wear because that is a waste of fabric.

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