Fast fashion refers to clothes that quickly go from the catwalk to the retail stores to capitalize on fashion trends. It is often sewn by people — sometimes children — who are paid poorly, abused and overworked. But consumers want those low prices, and many don’t think about what paying bottom dollar means for the people who make the clothes or what it means for the planet’s landfills, which are already full of discarded clothing.
These clothes aren’t just affecting landfills, they also play a role in greenhouse gas emissions. According to a 2018 report by an environmental consultant group, the global apparel and footwear industry produces 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
It isn’t just cheap fashion that is bad for the environment. The material is also a factor. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon don’t biodegrade and are made from petrochemicals. Cotton may seem like the better choice, but many pesticides are used to grow large quantities, and chemicals and dyes are used to color cotton.
Here’s what to look for so you can invest your money in good-quality pieces for yourself or loved ones — and know they will last and have less of a negative impact on the environment.
– Avoid trends
– Use your hands
– Read labels
– Examine the stitching
– Factor in finishing
– Skip buying new
I – Word Understanding
Bottom dollar – last dollar / money
Landfills – an area where trash is dumped
Petrochemicals – chemicals derived from petrol or natural gas
II – Have Your Say
1. Do you love shopping clothes? Where and how often do you shop for clothes?
2. What are the factors you consider when you buy clothes?
3. What do you do with your old and/or unused clothes?
4. How do you care for your clothes?