Sustainability and Fast Fashion

The phrase “fast fashion” is something most people have heard of due to its domination in the industry. Although people heave heard the name, many do not know the effects mass production of clothes has on our environment. For example, in order to meet the consumer’s desires a lot of quality has been disregarded. The fabrics that are being used are so cheap that they only last a couple wears and definitely won’t last in a washing machine. This means that they will most likely get thrown out which adds to the issue of waste. The reason fast fashion is a wicked problem is because there is no easy answer to solving it. Consumers want lots of trendy clothing for cheap so they don’t feel bad getting rid of it when it goes out of style. This is displayed through the brand Zara—which has trendy clothes for a reasonable price. 

I can admit I am guilty when it comes to shopping for fast fashion; because of my age and love for fashion it is typically the clothing I can afford. This also falls into the subject of fast fashion being a wicked problem. 

Furthermore, the trip to the sustainability office was so interesting to me and I loved getting to see the effects of our university’s waste and the ways OSU practices sustainability. When we were looking at the trash compacter it reminded me of the Disney movie Wallie, and all I could imagine was our future planet being covered in cubes of compacted trash. I watched that movie after this trip and was horrified by the message it is sending, whereas when I watched it as a child I did not understand the true meaning. The efforts the trash compacter is making is good but the true issue is the amount of waste people are using. Because we would not need this machine if people limited their waste. I did think it was cool to see how many people actually recycle and that when I recycle something it does make a difference.

Now, to jump back to the topic of fast fashion and its impact on our planet: I researched the effects it has on our environment. The negative impact was more than I imagined; ranging from the depletion of non-renewable resources, releasing mass amounts of greenhouse gases, use of non-biodegradable materials. In fact, fashion is the second biggest polluter following the oil industry. People are throwing out clothes more than ever yet their closets are getting fuller and fuller. The discussion of overpopulation in the future goes along with this wicked problem because the rising population means more people filling their closets with synthetic materials. So I ask anyone reading next time you are shopping those cheap sales will you think about the impact it will have on our environment?

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