Fast Fashion, even Faster Damage

Phoebe Eyles explains how to make your wardrobe more sustainable...

Phoebe Eyles
4th March 2019

The explosion of fast fashion and the shortened life span of our clothes is greatly damaging our environment, with the industry being the second most polluting. Whilst it is true high end brands are not doing enough to protect the environment, high street and online affordable brands are the largest contributors to the lack of sustainable fashion. However, there are high streets brands doing more to help the environment and reduce the amount of pollution the fashion industry creates.

As shoppers it is important to be aware of what brands are the most sustainable so we can make informed choices as to which companies to buy from.

As students, it is undeniable that we benefit from the fast fashion industry, with cheap prices enabling us to afford a new outfit for the next event. Yet the industry is creating a huge problem by increasing our desire to constantly have new clothes. Most recently, Kim Kardashian called out fast fashion brands for recreating her designer looks at cheap prices which she argued Is disrespectful to the original designer. Apart from moral issues, fast fashion brands are ruining the environment. The cheap dyes and materials used to create items for these brands are incredibly harmful, with textile dyeing being the second largest pollutant of water. The amount of clothes we can discard has dramatically increased, and the materials used in cheaper items often go to landfill.  Unfortunately, whilst a large amount of our wardrobes may come from these unsustainable brands, we need to be aware of the environmental issues they cause.

Many brands on the high street are doing more to promote sustainable fashion and still have affordable prices. H&M have created there Conscious Collection, a line that uses 100% regenerated nylon fibre and recycled materials. The range features basic staples from simple bodycon dresses to casual shirts. The line also features flares and warm jumpers, perfect for your Newcastle wardrobe! H&M as well as Zara run in-store initiatives where customers can give unwanted clothes to be recycled by the brands. Zara also claims that 90% of their stores are eco friendly and run on renewable energy sources. ! Mango is another high street brand with a sustainable range titled ‘Committed’, which uses materials such as recycled polyester and organic cotton to promote sustainable fashion. The store Monki now only use 100% sustainable cotton in their garments and as a brand aim to be climate positive by 2040. The brand features a wide range of casual wear and unique designs you won’t be finding on fast fashion sites!

With the average item of clothing holding a mere seven wears to most, it is vital that we cut down on our consuming habits and buy from sustainable stores where possible. The pull of on trend items at cheap prices is difficult to resist as a student, but it is important to make as many conscious choices as we can. With a bit of research it is apparent that a variety of high street brands are providing sustainable options at good prices, making it easier for shoppers to make ethical choices.

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