I hope you’ve all had a good week since we spoke in part one, and that you’ve taken some time to reflect, gather up your thoughts and concentrate just a little more on you and your surroundings? The world is moving at breakneck speed, so the small moments are important for us all to take.
And something else that moves at breakneck speed is the world of fast fashion! So, what exactly is fast fashion and are you ready for the facts?
Quite simply, fast fashion is a term used to describe the clothing industry and the speed in which clothes are made and sent out into the stores to meet new trends and new styles while mass-producing them at a low cost.
Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand. This process is often at the detriment of the workers who tirelessly make the clothes at the demand of the factory owners and retailer pressure.
This then poses a problem. Because of the speed and mass quantity at which these clothes are made, the quality of the items is often poor, and the environmental corners are more likely to be cut. This makes the fashion industry one of the largest polluters of clean water globally with other negative impacts such as the use of cheap toxic textile dyes.
Sadly, once these clothes have been worn a few times inline with the current trend, they are often disregarded after a few wears, or don’t last long before being unfit for wearing anyway. This is something I still see daily on social media. That mindset of wanting something rather than actually needing it. I see many posts saying how badly people ‘want’ another new pair of trainers or how badly they ‘want’ this new dress…
Because most of the time, I think those items are not really needed, they are wanted. But, does the want really fulfil your needs in the end?
That’s not even the worst of it. Fast fashion causes extensive damage to the planet, it exploits workerswith unsafe conditions and low pay, and also causes harm to animals.
Did you ever read about the 2013 Rana Plaza clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh? It’s definitely a moment in time where perspective came to play in the role of the fashion industry; and definitely a reality check for most who know the story.
In 2013 an eight-story building collapsed killing 1132 garment workers. These were people with stories, families and futures all woven into the fabric of the clothes they produced. Clothing that we wore. Clothing we owned that was gone from our lives far too soon. I just think about those workers, and their lives, that were gone far too soon. In the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse, the world started asking; who makes our clothes!?
Everyday these workers; mainly women and girls, work in unacceptable conditions, with some of the lowest wages in the world. They are working in factories that do not meet standards required by building and construction legislation, something I’m sure we would all not subject ourselves or our loved ones too.
That though, is the sad reality of the dark side of the fashion industry.
Sadly, it took a major tragedy and the loss of so many lives to finally wake up the world to the poor labour conditions faced by many workers in the ready-made, fast fashion garment sectors around the world.
Join me in part three to learn more about the environmental impact fast fashion has on this planet and our health. But I’ll also be speaking about which sustainable garment making processes and measures are being taken to offer safer, higher quality and longer lasting alternatives to fast fashion.
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