I’ve always tried my best to support human and animal rights, as well as protect the environment.
I identify as an intersectional feminist, recycle, don’t eat meat, abstain from buying non-cruelty free beauty products.
But one of the aspects in my life where I’ve neglected to criticize is the clothes I buy.
Many of my friends have argued that it’s hypocritical to ignore the underpaid and overworked farm workers that are behind the produce vegetarians/vegans use to build their “cruelty-free” diet, and I can agree.
These arguments made me wonder why we don’t bring more attention to the millions of adults and children that are abused in factories overseas to create the clothes we buy in common clothing stores.
Fast fashion is usually defined as the fast-paced fashion industry, where trends move quickly from the runway to stores you’ll find in the mall.
If you’ve ever worked in retail, you already know that most low-end clothing stores receive shipments of new styles every single week.
As clothing gets more inexpensive, consumers have been buying more— especially since the quality isn’t made to last the way it was when clothing was higher-priced and made in America.
Behind these new styles is an entire world of mistreatment that we have been ignoring.
It’s no secret that our production has moved out of the U.S. and into sweatshops overseas.
In these sweatshops, children are exploited to create clothing for pennies per hour.
Countless news articles and documentaries like “The True Cost” have been dedicated to the horrors of sweatshops, yet the biggest culprits of these instances, including Walmart, Zara, and Forever 21, continue to thrive.
The damage that fast fashion inflicts on our planet is immense as well— the clothing industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, oil being the first.
According to the EDA, 85% of textile waste -10.5 million tons- ends up in landfills, while only 15% is recycled.
Dyes from clothing make up ⅕ of water pollution as well.
Even if you make an effort to recycle your plastics and use less paper, the clothing brands that you give money to continue to destroy the environment further.
So what do we do to help?
There’s a number of ways to avoid fast fashion, or at least cut down on how much money you give to big companies that abuse their workers and hurt our planet.
Click here to check out my YouTube playlist of my favorite videos on the topic.
What we're wearing.