Other than a fruitful career option, fashion is also a walk of life. Many choose to dress themselves with the latest trends in the fashion industry and act as a representative of influencing modern fashion change. This adaptive means of fashion gives rise to what is called fast fashion.
Fast fashion is a business model followed by major clothing and brand houses that replace the traditional form. It resembles the ever-changing and adaptive trends in attire and other sectors of fashion. This rising demand for the new trends leads to quick and abrupt production conditions of the industry which leads to the inculcation of fast fashion.
Out of the major active industries on Earth, Fast fashion is directly related to the degradation of the various natural sources of Earth.
Let us look at the ever-lasting life-threatening impacts of fashion on nature and humans.
A Cycle Of Never Ending Consumption
The marketing trends and designs set up by fashion giants impact humans from all the sides. From looking trendy to avoid embarrassment, the psychological factor leads to humans shopping for a never-ending line of clothes.
The quirky taglines used in the marketing sphere make humans want more. This empties the resources of the Earth and fills the wardrobe with useless materials of so-called art.
The rising demand leads to a rise in production and hence, and over-consumption of natural resources leads to a degradation of the general life on Earth.
Waste, Waste, And Waste
As the second-largest contributor to pollution, the fashion industry’s new innovation techniques and trends have a flip side too. 1 kg of cotton material requires about 10,000 liters of water. We all know our country is heading for a major water crisis with many cities already running dry of water resources. Delhi, Mumbai are typical examples!
This grey area of the fashion industry stays hidden from the market.
Materials that are used as raw items in production lie in the sewage tanks and are termed as waste. This waste is either dumped, kept aside, or sometimes recycled. The material which does not fall in the recycling field stays for around 20-40 years in its raw condition.
Lots of waste right?
Microplastics Polluting The Water Sources
Synthetic materials are one of the toughest materials to biodegrade. The excess of raw material from the production of the fashion aesthetics is often not recycled. Around 35% of the world’s microplastics come from the fashion world.
Other than the production line, whenever a polyester is washed, tiny microplastics flow with the water which ends up in the sewerage system. These minute particles are next to impossible to degrade and hence, they are the primary source of water pollution from the fashion industry.
Whenever a brand brings out a new line of clothing apparel, the ones which lie unused in the stores are termed as garbage. Other than the debris produced during the production line, the clothes which have minor defects, or are unsold in the retail stores are thrown away.
It is a rarity that these clothes are recycled. Statistically, of all the clothes produced at any time, around 82% lies in the garbage at some point in time. Out of this 82%, only 1% is recycled and the rest lies in history..
How Can One Tackle These Problems?
For the industry to thrive and simultaneously lessen the burden on the environment, there are some things that can be done.
From the customers’ point of view, less buying would probably lead to lesser production and hence much less burden on the resources. Instead, people should come up with new styles of clothing using old clothing materials.
Prefer Quality And Not Quantity
There are fashion houses that always keep a check on their clothes and the environmental factors. It is advisable to prefer buying clothes from brands that work in line considering the damages to the natural resources.
The more clothes are washed, the more they shed. These micro materials do not dissolve in the water and hence end up in the different water bodies. Limited washing can lead to savings of a considerable amount of waste microplastics.
With the evolution in the market trends and the psychological modifications in human behavior, alongside all the big environmental and wastage issues, the fashion industry too needs to change and hopefully it will soon!
It is high time it should!