Years before the pandemic, I was a lot into traveling. It was my passion, and I enjoyed visiting different places, meeting different people, and experiencing different cultures and languages. I used to tell my friend, "traveling is my vibe, and my vibe is my drive." Everything was great, life seemed to do good, and I enjoyed every bit of it. However, something weird happened in those years.
During my days of extensive traveling, I somehow had developed an uncanny habit, or should I say addiction. I went shopping a lot. Whether online shopping or in the streets, I kept buying new clothes now and then. In fact, there came the point where I barely wore the new clothes I had purchased for months.
I can excuse that maybe it was due to the weather conditions in places I visited varied or the frequent sales discount we get to avail so often nowadays. But I knew I was doing something wrong in several ways, but then one of my friends introduced me to the concept of fast fashion, and I never felt more guilty about becoming a shopaholic so much.
What is Fast Fashion?
Remember how almost 20 years ago shopping was an occasional eventful experience unless it was our birthday. Whether it was Christmas or Diwali, our parents used to buy us some new clothes. Also, we tend to wear them until they get worn out, took care of them with maintenance and waterproofing, or we outgrow them. Many of us passed the clothes onto our younger siblings in the latter scenario, which planted a seed for a week-long sibling war.
If you really relate to it, don't you feel it happened ages ago? The answer is yes, and it lies in a shift in trends on how we dress nowadays and how we prefer shopping.
Nowadays, clothes have become cheaper, and trend cycles have sped up. As a result, we now have a new option to list our hobbies - shopping. Shopping often has given rise to a new phenomenon known as fast fashion.
We can define fast fashion as the extreme exploitation and damage caused to the workers, our planets, and animals done by the industries to meet the increased supply and demand of the consumers.
How Did Fast Fashion Happen?
Fast fashion primarily happens because it is cheap, trendy, and satisfyingly meets customer demands. Today, global markets are dominated by a handful of fashion brand industries both online and on the streets. Celebrity and fashion ramp walk culture has extensively pushed for the need for constant evolution in the way people should dress.
Today, dressing in itself has become a lifestyle. And we all know how much of an influence celeb culture has on us had led to the creation of several top classic fashion icons of all time. Companies constantly have to adapt to changes in fashion trends, and it creates an extensive imbalance where the exploitation begins. The resources get burned rapidly, the workers have to work overtime, and the existing clothes go to waste in many cases.
The overall shift in the way people dress themselves today, as a result, has led to several bad aftermaths that researchers have deemed harmful and damaging to our environment. To know more, let's take some reasons to identify why fast fashion is bad.
What Makes Fast Fashion Bad?
Following are some critical reasons that reflect the impact fast fashion has on the world and why you must do your best to avoid getting into the trap despite the surreal craze around it.
Affects the Environment
Fast fashion may have the present and future of fashion, however trends have led to manufacturers shedding top-notch quantities of new merchandise every month (if not weekly). It has resulted mainly due to the constant marketing and promotion and has led to over-consumption. Polyester is one of the most used fabrics contributing to fast fashion and is derived from fossil fuels. However, the worst part is that polyester is non-biodegradable, so that it can remain unaffected for hundreds of years on the earth's surface.
Some people may claim herbal substances are a great pick for fast fashion as they may not harm the environment a lot. However, herbal substances such as cotton can be hazardous to the surroundings because they require extensive water and pesticides. More importantly, quick trend manufacturers rely on the usage of poisonous and hazardous chemical compounds that extensively pollute the surroundings and are hazardous for workers and the communities living around such fast fashion cloth manufacturing factories.
Unfair Living Wages
You may have noticed in the clothes tags - "made in China, made in India, etc." However, if you have an interest in the clothing brand's origin, you will find that the company is based in a different country. So, you may wonder why manufacturers don't manufacture the clothes in the same country? The answer has always remained in front of us, and however, many of us have inadvertently ignored it for this long.
The primary reason companies manufacture their clothing goods in other countries is the low labor cost. Yes, in several countries, the cost of workers or laborers is drastically high because of several economic problems ranging from the country's policies to privatization. As a result, workers have to struggle to meet their daily requirements and work for low wages.
Most fashion brands are quick to take advantage of it. Fashion brands save an enormous amount of money through such exploits, which they further use to create more fast fashion clothes concerning the ongoing trends.
Rising Number in Fashion Brands
Fashion is a lucrative business, and more people have grown aware of it. People now understand how they can make excessive money in the fashion industry with minimal investment. They need to have the right team, the right setup, and the ability to execute their plans to the tee.
So, you must see a lot of newer brands on the online platform you shop from time to time, and it has created tremendous competition in the fashion market. However, what must bother you most is the enormous amount of clothes that get manufactured in a short time with questionable supply demands.
While fast fashion is tempting and why not? People love getting dressed up. However, it is high time the fashion industry takes note of the depreciating impact it is creating on the environment. Besides, it is everyone's responsibility to ensure why fast fashion is bad and why you must prevent yourself from falling into this trap.
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