Is Fast Fashion Contributing To World Pollution?


A long row of hangers with clothes in a store

Many people may find interest in quality over quantity, while others find interest in quantity over quality. However, people who are interested in quality over quantity could be looking for a variety of things. For instance, they could be interested in the quality of the fabric. Or, some may be looking for the background of the product and the company. Are they sustainable? Are they using child labor? Animal testing? There are a lot of things to wonder about, but it’s not everyone in the world considering these things.

In comparison, many people prefer quantity over quality. For many people who don’t want to spend $50 or over on one t-shirt, fast fashion is for them. People who prefer quantity over quality can buy one shirt for under $10. However, buying from companies selling items at very low prices isn’t always the best option. Buying clothing at an affordable price is nice, but the damage it does to Earth costs. However, being able to get a lot for a small amount of money compels these companies to have methods to make it as cheap as it is. Not only are the fabrics and quality bad, but the background on what fast fashion is doing to the environment is extreme. Studies show that “the fashion industry is responsible for 4 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions.”

One main point of fast fashion’s damage to the environment is the overuse of water. According to research, it takes about 10,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of cotton. Additionally, it takes approximately 3,000 liters of water to produce one cotton shirt. For this reason, many fast fashion companies moved overseas to areas where water is abundant. Several fast fashion factories are located in areas where there aren’t strict environmental regulations. Due to that, many areas have been contaminated by dirty and toxic water from the factories. Also, many places have a thick layer of ‘toxic foam’ piling up on the waters from toxic gasses. Another point is the quantity control and unrestrained amount of fast fashion clothing going around the world. Over years and years of fast fashion, the consumption rate has gone up. This could be favorable for the economy, but it does tons of damage to the environment. As people may know, buying clothes at a cheaper cost means that the quality won’t be as good. Therefore, after a few washes, the clothes could wear out, coloring could fade, or the fabric could get damaged. Studies show that 57% of all thrown-out clothing goes to the landfill. This causes many problems in the air condition and creates many environmental risks for people around there.

Buying clothes for cheap and getting a lot of them may seem nice. From time to time it might not be bad to buy affordable clothes and have them delivered quickly, but keep in mind that by purchasing these things, it could be doing a lot to the environment even if it doesn’t affect you.