Fast fashion: a worrying social and environmental phenomenon

Posted by Noémie Rochette on

Fast fashion has taken its place in the clothing industry over the last twenty years. This industry trend is characterized by new collections every month, affordable prices and recurring discount periods. Manufacturing is designed in developing countries, and purchases are available online at any time. This short-lived fashion cycle, which encourages excessive consumption, has enormous social and environmental impacts.

Environmental Impacts


The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. It emits a tremendous carbon footprint. According to Greenpeace, it is estimated to be 1.2 billion tons of CO2 every year.

Currently, in Europe alone, about four tons of textiles are thrown away every year. The majority of textile waste ends up in landfills. Only the remaining 20% is recycled and/or donated to second hand stores.

Leading in crop consuming pesticides in the world, cotton is a polluting fiber that is responsible for 20% of water contamination, according to the UN. In addition, 70% of synthetic fibers are made from petroleum. Clothes made from synthetic fibers release microfibers that pollute the oceans. Every year, 500,000 tons of plastic microfibers are released into the world's oceans. 

Social impacts


The world's less fortunate people are exploited by the fashion industry. They suffer from poor working conditions, debt servitude and physical abuse. Modern slavery occurs in garment factories around the world, including Bangladesh, Poland and Vietnam. 

There are 75 million people involved in the fashion industry, 60 million of whom are women. These workers work unpaid overtime and often live near toxic waterways, contaminated by the factories where they work and develop related illnesses.

Buy vintage


By purchasing vintage goods from Canada Luxury, you are supporting a local business. Also, supporting circular economy will allow you to save a significant amount of money, but more importantly, it helps preserve the planet. Vintage designs were sturdier than current ones since they were handmade by artisans, not in mass production factories. The goods manufactured in the past were also  made of much more resistant materials than they are today.

Interest in buying second hand is present. More and more consumers are aware of the disastrous effects of the fashion industry and are willing to buy second hand goods. Our aspiration is to change the way people consume, by buying second-hand. One small gesture at a time can make a huge impact on a global scale if each person gets involved.

References:

Green Peace. (2022). How to opt for a more ethical and responsible fashion. Retrieved from: https://www.greenpeace.fr/comment-opter-pour-une-mode-plus-ethique-et-responsable/


Green Peace. (2017). Fashion at the crossroad. Retrieved from: https://wayback.archive-it.org/9650/20200417211606/http://p3-raw.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/detox/2017/Fashion-at-the-Crossroads.pdf


Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2017). A new textiles economy: redesigning fashion's future. Retrieved from: A New Textiles Economy - Full Report | Shared by Fashion (thirdlight.com).


ADEME. (2017). The flip side of my look. Retrieved from: https://librairie.ademe.fr/cadic/1529/le-revers-de-mon-look.pdf?modal=false


Euro news. (2019). The fashion industry, one of the most polluting in the world. Retrieved from: https://fr.euronews.com/culture/2019/12/11/l-industrie-de-la-mode-l-une-des-plus-polluantes-au-monde


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