There is no doubt that no matter how much effort the individual exerts for the good of the earth, we are associated with a “ throwaway society” and it may come as a surprise that fashion is yet another culprit compromising the status of the planet. More than 50 million tons of used textile waste generated in the USA ends up in landfills over laden with apparel.
There has been a phenomenal change in the way purchasing of clothing has progressed over the last 20 years as in previous times consumers bought fewer garments that lasted longer as was the case in the 1960,s. Now poorly manufactured clothes are intended not to last, a mere lifetime of 2.2 years as research indicates, a reminder that ethics and income do not always go hand in hand. This present situation is all very convenient for the “ fashionistas “ who follow a ritual of “ in today, out tomorrow “ religiously following trends, a great boost to manufacturers profits.
The very term “ fast fashion “ is a misnomer as accuracy lies in the many processes beginning with the picking of the raw cotton from the bushes that require a lot of water, fertilizers and insecticides. The creation of threads is then initiated which will be dyed, using masses of water, woven into rolls of fabric , the latter being presented to the designers who then produce garments , these to be on show to retail outlets who invest in huge advertising campaigns in glossy magazines and catalogues to entice the public, the paper requiring the destruction of trees . Looking at it logically, the only speed involved is the rate at which clothing and accessories are discarded and the ultimate impact on the ecology.
Next weeks article will focus on the encouraging “ going green “ efforts in the fashion industry.