What is fast fashion, and what is the true cost of fast fashion on the environment?
Fast fashion is the consumption of cheaply made, imported textile goods for fast consumption and disposal. In the wake of Forever 21 filing for Chapter 11 backrupcy, the fashion industry is taking a second look at the true costs of fast fashion, and fast fashion's long term sustainability both from an environmental and economic standpoint.
According to The Independent:
Fast fashion focuses on speed and low costs in order to deliver frequent new collections inspired by catwalk looks or celebrity styles. But it is particularly bad for the environment, as pressure to reduce cost and the time it takes to get a product from design to shop floor means that environmental corners are more likely to be cut. Criticisms of fast fashion include its negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste. (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html)
Because of a desire for newness, the fast fashion industry disrupts not only the fashion economy, but also has negative envrionmental impacts:
Textile waste is an unintended consequence of fast fashion, as more people buy more clothes and don’t keep them as long as they used to. The international expansion of fast fashion retailers exacerbates the problem on a global scale. Wardrobes in developed nations are saturated, so in order to sell more products, retailers must tempt shoppers with constant newness and convince them the items they already have are no longer fashionable. (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html)
Globally, fast fashion is a primary contributor of textile waste into landfills and into market disruption in developing nations. As Vox enumerates: