Is consumerism in fashion having too much of an impact on the environment?
The fast fashion industry is known to have a disastrous impact on the environment. There is no place for a greater explanation. After the oil industry, the fashion industry is the second polluter in the world and as this industry grows the environmental damage spreads out of control. This problem seems to take an unexpected twist while fewer people are aware of the real impact that our fashion needs have on the environment. A reason why fashion is considered the second biggest pollution threat is that people are not sufficiently educated towards this issue. Fast fashion is what we all know as quickly and cheaply produced clothes articles that are made to copy the latest fashion trends. This is where human consuming needs are the most treacherous.
We cannot stop from buying and encouraging this industry and the passing trends. There is no more a basic need to just get dressed for work, only get dressed to impress. We are all consumers whether we like it or not, and we’re certainly an important part of this issue. There are plenty of other alternatives to get dressed well and comfortable without impacting the environment and all we have to do is pay attention to who we support through our consuming needs.
Increases Carbon Footprint
Not everyone realizes how the very clothes we’re wearing can be the biggest contributors to the carbon footprint. Due to the fast fashion industry, companies release on a huge scale and quickly new items on incredibly low prices so that consumers can buy their clothes more frequently. This is just one big mess. Although some people may realize the huge impact that the fashion industry has on the environment, they can just hold back their needs of having something new and trendy.
These industries are known to produce the same amount of carbon emissions every 3 minutes. Just imagine the amount of material needed to produce all those clothes or the process of manufacturing. And that’s just a small part of it. Often, huge companies take advantage of cheap textiles and fabrics that produce microplastic when they’re washed up and the craziest part is that these textiles don’t even have a great duration. Practically we’re sustaining low-quality products that are damaging our health and the environment.
Impact on Health
There are real concerns relating to our health. The fast-fashion industries are damaging to our health and we know it. This is a matter of behaviour. Consumers should change their perspectives on life, their habits and routines if they wish to decrease health problems produced by pollution. People should be more concerned, start researching or developing some basic chemistry knowledge so they can grasp this issue in more detail. There are solutions, and individuals must act quickly and with care. What can people do about it? They should acknowledge the presence of environmental regulations for factories and even choose natural and organic fibres that do not require chemicals to be produced.
Water Pollution and Consumption
In many countries, the fast fashion industry produces a great number of environmental disasters. That is no longer a big secret. In most countries where fashion items are created, untreated toxic wastewaters from these textiles industries are dumped directly into rivers. This is extremely damaging because among those substances we find arsenic, mercury and even lead. Just imagine the effect these substances have on the aquatic life and people living by those rivers. The effects are huge, therefore all these contaminations rapidly spread in the sea and later will be around the globe. Do we really need all these clothes? Roughly 2 billion pairs of jeans are produced annually and each pair requires almost 7,000 litres of water. The amount of hazardous chemical that is used to produce these items are permanently impacting the environment.
Landfills and Dumping
Through our consumer needs and discarding of unwanted items, we contribute to a large number, to mass waste. An incredible devastating process that not only affects us but everything we throw away ends in other developing countries. This huge mess can be stopped. By changing our mentality and perspective we can make a difference. Why throw away your clothes shoes and accessories? There are plenty of other modalities to find a use for them. Be smart, learn to reuse and recycle your clothes. Share them for free or just sell them, anything else would work better than just filling the dumping holes with material that are still in great shape.
Improper Labour Practices
Not everyone dares to think about who produces our clothes and mostly because they don’t care. Unexpectedly, huge corporations and retailers engage in the improper labour practices and that’s still something that consumers encourage. In order to keep their production costs low and increase the speed of production, huge industries rely on unfair practices. Many employees are women that work too many hours for little pay and that’s a major problem. Not only that, but more and more fashion industries have been known to request high demands for children who are willing to work in a dangerous hazard on low pay. In other words, through our consuming needs, we’re encouraging a new era of modern slavery. Be aware of what you’re buying, war what you have and avoid throwing away your clothes, learn to reuse, repair and tailor. All these forgotten skills are necessary if don’t want to encourage this modern slavery.
People should start to support ethical companies and everything that requires organic products. Living healthy it is not cheap. People should get rid of this mentality. There is no greater encouragement to change our perspectives and life-style than the effect our consuming need has on the environment. We’re practically encouraging poison for our mind and health. Changing our perspective and habits and restraining from the craving of buying something new every time, we can actually make a difference. There is a matter of perspective and education. The more you show people what are the real effects, the less they will want to buy and encourage these trends.