How to make fast fashion sustainable? Fast fashion is a fast-growing industry that produces fashionable and cheap clothing. Short lead times, low prices and high turnover characterise it. Some fast fashion brands such as Zara, H&M and Forever 21 can offer new clothing styles at a fraction of the cost of traditional brands. Why? Because they often use cheap labour and materials, and most produce in countries with labour and environmental laws.
In case you didn’t know, the environmental impact of fast fashion is more significant than you think. This industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions. It is also the second-largest consumer of water. Its social impact is also of concern. Workers must perform their work in unsafe conditions; as we said, they receive low wages.
In addition, fast fashion can contribute to body image issues, as it promotes a culture of disposability and encourages most people to buy new clothes constantly.
But how can we make it sustainable? Is it possible? In this post, we will tell you how to make fast fashion sustainable.
Is it possible to make fast fashion sustainable?
Despite the challenges, there are many ways to make fast fashion sustainable. Here are a few ideas:
Design for longevity
Fast fashion brands often focus on designing clothes that are made to last for a very short period of time.
This leads to a lot of waste, as people quickly discard clothes they no longer like or are not trendy anymore.
The clothes end up in landfills, which have one of the most damaging environmental effects.
That’s why fast fashion brands should try to create clothes that are made to last.
To do that, they must use high-quality materials and construction techniques.
Use sustainable materials
Most fast fashion brands use harmful materials to create their clothes, such as synthetic fabrics that release microplastics when washed.
That’s why they drift into oceans or rivers. That’s why they must use sustainable materials. Some of them may be made from organic cotton, recycled polyester or bamboo.
Using some of these materials will make the clothing more sustainable and allow fast fashion to last longer.
Reduce water use
The fashion industry is a major water consumer. Don’t believe us? Think about it: the production of a single cotton T-shirt can require at least 2,700 gallons of water. That’s a lot. How can fast fashion reduce their water use? By using less water-intensive materials, such as recycled polyester. In addition, they can improve their manufacturing processes.
Fast fashion workers are paid a very low wage.
To empower them all, they should pay a fair compensation for their work and give them appropriate working conditions.
They should also be transparent about their supply chains so that consumers can know where their clothes are made and how.
Promote reuse and recycling
Fast fashion brands should encourage consumers to reuse and recycle their old clothes.
This can be done by offering take-back programs or partnering with organisations that collect and recycle clothes.
Consumers need to know how their clothes are made and under what conditions workers do their jobs.
They also deserve to know what the environmental cost is.
That is why all fast fashion brands need to raise consumer awareness of fast fashion’s social and environmental impact.
This can be done through their marketing strategies or materials, website or social media platforms.
While it is true that making fast fashion sustainable is a very complex challenge, it is certainly worth trying for the benefit of the planet and our society. Fast fashion can become sustainable by taking small steps, such as improving workers’ lives and reducing environmental impact.
What can YOU do?
You may feel powerless when it comes to stopping fast fashion’s negative impact on the environment. But don’t worry, there are some things you can do to reduce it.
First of all, buy less. This is the best way to reduce your impact on the fashion industry. Instead of buying new clothes all the time, try to repair or give a new purpose to the clothes you already have. Second, buy sustainable brands. Believe it or not, many brands are committed to ethical and environmental practices. You can support them and additionally create a new style for you using their clothes.
When you buy from sustainable brands, you can be sure that the clothing is made with better materials. Besides, in a way that has less impact on the planet.
In addition, you can also rent clothes. Several companies offer clothing rental services. It’s a great way to try new and trendy clothes if you don’t want to buy them since you can always return them.
Ultimately, you could also donate your clothes. If you have anything you no longer wear or like, you can donate it to a local charity. This way, you will help keep the clothes out of landfills and give them a new life!
Sustainable clothing brands
If you’re not sure where to get sustainable fashion, here are a few ideas of the brands that sell clothes without a negative impact on the planet:
- Patagonia: It is a well-known brand for its commitment to the environment and making sustainable fashion possible for years. They use recycled materials in many of their products and strongly focus on environmental responsibility.
- Everlane: It is a direct-to-consumer brand known for its transparency and ethical practices. They pay their workers a fair wage and are committed to using sustainable materials.
- Tentree: They use organic cotton and other sustainable materials. In addition, they are committed to ethical manufacturing. And the most amazing thing is that they plant 10 trees for every item of clothing you buy!
Are you ready to make fast fashion sustainable?