This past week in class I learned that sustainability and fashion do not go hand in hand. There are numerous effects the fashion industry has on the environment. This concerns me because it is the career field that I, and many others taking this course, are pursuing. I love fashion and hate that so many resources are used and wasted to feed our consumer culture. Trends are created with the intent of not lasting long, so consumers will have to endlessly buy what is in style. Fashion trends do impact the environment because it produces a higher demand for resources, but the consumers are also to blame. Not recycling products or being mindful about how we use them can lead to overconsumption of an unnecessary amount of resources. Water, tree bark, chemicals, cotton, fur, etc. are used to create textiles or fashion products. When products are not created to be sustainable, consumers have no choice but to throw their products away.
Thinking about how people in underdeveloped countries are grateful for receiving a simple pair of shoes makes me wonder hoe Americans became so greedy. We are so hung up on personal possessions that we forget what is really important. I’ll admit that it makes me happy to buy a cute shirt or a new pair of shoes, but at the end of the day I’m more thankful I’ve been blessed with family, friends, and an education. Being sustainable will take practice, but the next time you decide to throw away a shirt you don’t like anymore, try recycling or donating it instead. The impact we all could have would be bigger than we could imagine.