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The Weight of Ultra-Fast Fashion

Jillian Whitson | October 10, 2022


Fast-fashion is a problem that continues to grow at an alarming rate. If change isn’t made, fast-fashion will contribute to a large portion of the rise in global warming. Fast-fashion describes buying clothes that are the current trend and following what is seen as popular. It’s the process of buying those clothes and wearing them for as long as the trend exists and then throwing them out once the trend is over. Then the cycle repeats. Buy the trendy clothes, wear the clothes while they’re popular, then toss the out-of-style clothes.


The process of fast-fashion is contributing to global warming at a faster rate than ever before. According to “Why you need a ‘wellbeing wardrobe’”, by Samantha Sharpe, Monique Retamal, and Taylor Brydges, from September 2022, “the fashion industry could use a quarter of the world’s remaining global carbon budget” by 2030. More people are buying more clothes than ever before, which has contributed to clothing production doubling “over the past 15 years”. The problem with this is that fast-fashion like this is not sustainable for the environment. The production of clothes that contribute to fast-fashion are becoming a large part of the global warming issue.


Popular fast fashion giants like H&M, Zara, and Shein are creating “ultra-fast fashion” by their non-stop approach to launching new styles. At this rate, it’s no longer a concern of clothing industries to be sustainability minded because the problem has become too large and using sustainable and ethically sourced materials for clothing unfortunately “do very little” when it comes to the carbon footprint and waste. On top of all that, there has been an increase in abuse of labor rights on workers which include “child labour, discimination and forced labour [which] have worsened globally”.


It is now more than ever in the hands of consumers and making tactful decisions to buy clothes that can last long. What can be done is to create a “wellbeing wardrobe”. These are clothing pieces that are timeless and don’t follow quick trends. It would also mean to not buy as many new clothes and focus on quality over quantity and pieces you enjoy wearing than pieces everyone else is wearing. Think about the clothes you buy and reconsider where you buy clothes from. Consider your own personal style and reflect on what is on trend really who you identify with and would you wear what you’re thinking of purchasing a year from now. By making thoughtful decisions like this the fast-fashion industry and its carbon footprint can be slowed.



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