Imagine that your closet has gotten to the point of overflow and you decide that it’s probably a good time to do a little “closet clean out.” After sorting through your wardrobe, you’ll most likely throw your “don’t want” pile into a trash bag and take it to a thrift store to maybe get a little extra cash. But the thrift store rejects most of your unwanted clothing because of it not being in season. If your clothing is more than a year old, its more than likely outdated thanks to fast fashion speeding up trends and shortening season. Secondhand stores will likely reject clothing from fast fashion chains due to their poor quality, low resale value, and because there’s just too much of it. So, you got rid of a few things, but what about all the other clothes the thrift store didn’t accept? You probably just throw them away, not wanting them to take up any more space in your closet. Now, your unwanted clothes head straight for a landfill. Fast fashion has created an environmental crisis and it’s increasing very rapidly.
The wicked problem of fast fashion is also a contributor to another wicked problem: sweatshops. Most fast fashion products come from sweatshops mostly in third-world countries. This results in the clothing being of very poor quality. Still, consumers love fast fashion because of the low cost. Wanting to stretch the dollar, most of us are guilty of supporting fast fashion. But if you look at the wickedness of it, doesn’t it make you want to put your money towards clothing that’ll last longer instead of clothing that’ll fall apart within weeks? Doesn’t it make you want to buy clothing that comes from reputable factories who treat their employees well? These are things to consider next time you feel the need to update your wardrobe.
The more I learn about sustainability, the more I appreciate the efforts made to be more sustainable. The visit to the sustainability office on campus made me aware of all the things that OSU is doing in efforts to be more sustainable. I didn’t know that most of OSUs power supply came from wind! could you imagine the amount of waste that exsist if these efforts didn’t exsist? It blows my mind to think about what could be. But what stood out to me the most is when we were told that simple changes like unplugging things when they’re not in use, and turning off lights when leaving a room, saved the school tons of electricity and money. I got to thinking about how changing simple habits made such a huge difference. I believe in the concept of “small changes = HUGE difference.” This concept can be applied to so many things, like making the small change to stop supporting fast fashion. Every habit, and every decision has an impact on the environment. What changes are you going to make?