What fast fashion industry is?. Rachel Dolle.
Journalism Student, King’s College London (KCL)

3rd January 2021

Praw is the mascot of Passions,
Praw is the mascot of Let’s Prowess.

Before writing about fast fashion industry, the first Let’s Prowess News of the year, how exciting! I wish you a Happy New Year and the end of this nightmare called Covid-19, fingers crossed.

Also, because so many people are asking me about The Greenest Contest  I explain you quickly, this is a great contest created by Let’s Prowess, where you can participate by sharing your passion for nature through creative ideas, solutions, interesting information, experiences as an environmental activist, or any aimed actions in order to take care of our planet.

There is also the Greenest Online Chat where you can write an emergency or unfair nature situation, or you can also upload a picture showing the injustice you want to claim.

In case you want to read more afterwords, here my article about should zoos be banned? Are they actually helpful or harmful?

Before all, I would like to start with this smart piece of Sven Beckert The Empire of Cotton that I found researching from the history. I think that represents in some way the fast fashion industry:

The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a site of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, farmers and merchants, workers and factory owners. In this as in so many other ways, the empire of cotton ushered in the modern world.” 

I’m not going to lie, I used to buy clothes from fast fashion brands online and stores, such as: Zara, New Look, Top Shop, Pull & Bear, Primark, Nasty Gal and even, at Sainsbury’s supermarket. Honestly, I didn’t think that fast fashion industry could impact so much on the environment.

I believe that the reason why many people buy in these stores is because they are apparently cheap, quality is not too bad and they keep updated with the latest trends.

However, fast fashion industry is getting bigger and bigger and our planet is beginning to suffer the terrible consequences. There are already many activists and scientists who are protesting against this problem which seems not to be taken seriously.

You may wonder…Why is fast fashion bad? Well, here some useful information you need to know.

Fast fashion industry is a term used to describe cheap and trendy clothing. In other words, fast fashion definition can be defined as clothing produced rapidly at low cost by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends, making the shopping for clothes more affordable by consumers and highly profitable business by companies.

This process have an enormous negative impact on the environment. The fast fashion industry is responsible for air pollution, water pollution and massive garbage.

Fast fashion industry consequences,
  1. The environmental impact of fast fashion brands start with the cultivation of the chemical substances used to make clothing, a quarter of chemical produced in the world are used in textile. Natural fibers (for example, inorganic cotton) or synthetic fibers (for example, polyester), both substances can have huge impact on the environment, especially synthetic fibers, they are based on oil and emit gases like N2O and CO2. The reason fast fashion brands use these fibers is because they are cheaper to cultivate than organic cotton itself.
  2. Fast fashion industry pollution 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions due to the energy used during its production, manufacturing, and transportation of the millions garments purchased each year. Also, it is one of the biggest consumers of non-renewable source.
  3. These chemical fibers are also the responsible for polluting the rivers and oceans with the microplastics they release. Often, these microplastics end up in the fish we eat, causing serious harm to animals and humans.
  4. The industry is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply and this is due to the organic cotton as it needs loads of water and often pesticides during its cultivation. A single jean and t-shirt that you wear use 20,000 liters of water to produce, crazy. This is why we have to reuse more and consume less.
  5. Consumers are wearing their items just a couple of times, which furthers piles up the amount of waste. We wear a fast fashion for less than 5 times and keep for 35 days, and produce over 400% more carbon emission per item. Additionally, fast fashion brands have conditions consumers to buy much more than they actually need. This over-consumption makes the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry even worse.
  6. Hardly any clothing gets recycled, less than 1% globally. 60% of total clothes produced end up in landfills within a year of production. On average, a person throws 37 Kg of clothes each year globally. 
Fast fashion industry statistics, 

according to retail conference organiser RetailX’s Fast Fashion 2019 report, fast fashion will represent 10-20 per cent of total revenue share in key European fashion markets in 2019. In the £42 billion UK fashion market, this equates to £4.2 to £8.4 billion annually.

Fast fashion industry analysis,

this leads to the supply and demand that keeps consumers preferences wanting more fast fashion. Speed and flexibility have a large role in fast fashion and delivering these products to the market. It is possible that consumer preferences will lead to a change that no longer emphasize tight deadlines, flexibility and speed of response.

Fast fashion industry growth rate,

the global fast fashion market is expected to decline $31.4 billion in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -12.32%. It was estimated in 2017, that the apparel market grew by approximately 5.46 percent compared to the previous year.

Further growth was forecast for the following years, with a peak growth rate of around 6.2 percent expected in 2020. The United States and China have the largest apparel markets in the world in terms of revenue.

Fast fashion industry worth,

it is projected to grow in value from 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015 to about 1.5 trillion dollars in 2020, showing that the demand for clothing and shoes is on the rise across the world.

As you can see fast fashion industry is increasing each year and that means bad news for our planet. Hopefully your have understood a little bit better what fast fashion really means, the consequences and why it is important to be aware about this situation.

Obviously, feel free to purchase in the store you want, at the end of the day it is our actions that will make the difference. It is your decision to contribute to help the planet where we live together.

In my case, I have bought less clothes compared to other years and it is good because I have saved money, just bought the clothes I needed. No whims influenced by fast fashion brands.

Now, I like buying in vintage stores street, the clothes is occasionally reused but the quality is great. The labels show that they are made by cotton organic 100% and fair trade, and you can find good bargains sometimes cheaper than primary shops. 

To conclude, here I add a beautiful content called THE GREENEST 2020-21 by Let’s Prowess. Elena is the second contestant and I enjoyed her video so much that the article is based on it. You will figure out more about the contest in the description of the video.

Thank you for your attention and always, Let’s Prowess, the proper evolution.

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