It's a mess, but we CAN do things to remove the stains.
The main motivation of my work here is to break down the big, complex problem of fast fashion, one of the most polluting industries on earth, into manageable and actionable things that people who wear clothes can do something about.
In their scholarly review of over 100 articles, Niinimäki, K., Peters, G., Dahlbo, H. et al. highlight the ecological costs of the global fashion industry.
In this post I’ll go over their key findings. The next few posts will explore each finding separately in more detail. These posts will hopefully help you understand what the problems are, why we need to change, and how we as individuals can act on the issues at hand.
The aim of dissecting this scholarly work is to help those of us who aren’t part of the industry but who care about its human and environmental impacts take action in our own lives.
The global fast fashion industry is a big contributer to climate change at all points in its supply change and end uses.
Because the garment industry is globalized, impacts are worst in countries that produce raw materials, manufacture textiles, and produce garments, although there are also consequences in all countries on the user end of the supply chain.
The worst environmental impacts are found in countries producing raw materials and manufacturing clothing because of water, chemical, and energy use.
Fashion brands are now producing double the volume of products than in 2000, due to the fast fashion model adopted by big brands in the early part of the century.
Consumers participating in the fast fashion model produce significant amounts of waste, the majority of which is landfilled, incinerated, and of which a large percentage is also exported to developing nations.
If you want to read the 2020 review, “The environmental price of fast fashion”, or even just look at the references, you can access it here (abstract and bibliography are free to read, and full article can be rented for less than $10)
Otherwise stay tuned to learn about the fast fashion and what you can do about it.