What is Fast Fashion?

What is Fast Fashion?

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)


donate reuse

Globally, fast fashion is a primary contributor of textile waste into landfills and into market disruption in developing nations. As Vox enumerates: 

25 billion pounds of textiles are generated in the United States per year alone, not including imports. That’s about 82 pounds per resident.
70 pounds is the average amount of clothing and textile each person in the U.S. throws away annually. Up to 95 percent of the textiles could be recycled each year.
20,000 liters of water are saved for every kilogram of cotton that is recycled instead of thrown away. Old cotton T-shirts can be cut up and used as rags for cleaning.
15 percent of textiles are recycled per year. That's a total of 3.8 billion pounds.
34.5 billion pounds is the projected amount of textile waste that the U.S. will produce by 2019. This is an increase of about 53 percent since 1999.
70 percent of the world's population wears secondhand clothing. The world supply of used women's clothing is at least seven times more than the used proportion of men's. (https://www.voxmagazine.com/news/textile-waste-by-the-numbers/article_9ea228ba-f13a-11e5-8c76-5b50180f85de.html)
The most environmentally and socially responsible alternative to fast fashion is reusing textiles and reducing one's consumption of new clothing. The "slow fashion" movement is growing in response to fast fashion's harmful impacts, and organizations like Goodwill Bluebox are industry leaders in reducing, reusing, and recycling used clothing for repurpose and resale. Goodwill Bluebox takes reuse one step further than any other fashion exchange, and creates an entirely 'new' fashion line---with Bluebox Originals--out of used materials. Nothing new is created, so no resources--like water, energy, plastics, oils, textiles--are used in making our clothing line. Consider shopping from Goodwill Bluebox Originals for a 100% sustainable fashion line, that not only reduces the environmental impact of clothing, but also funds non profit community programs. 



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