By Shannon Walsh
Clothes are a form of expression, style, and creativity. The United States is a country where a wide population are fortunate enough to afford new clothes. However, as we purchase our own clothes, it is important to consider the environmental impact fast fashion has on our planet. Fast fashion is the term used to describe clothes that are mass-produced at low costs and made to fit the newest trends. We must learn about more environmentally friendly ways to purchase clothes.
The fashion industry is leaving a lasting impact on the environment. Fast fashion is quickly developing due to its cheap manufacturing paired with seasonal rollout rates. The negative impact of fast fashion is becoming irreversible. The factories that manufacture the clothes produce textile waste and toxic chemicals throughout the process of making and packaging the clothes.
In an article addressing the impact of fast fashion, researchers from Sustain Your Style say, “Untreated toxic wastewaters from textiles factories are dumped directly into the rivers. Wastewater contains toxic substances such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, among others.”
In order to help the environment and limit our carbon footprint, there are several alternative options to fast fashion. Thrifting is a solid alternative. The clothes sold are previously owned, so you are not buying new manufactured clothes, and they are also cheaper.
In addition to thrifting, if you have clothes that you do not wear anymore, consider donating them! The clothes that sit in your closet without being worn can be given to those who cannot afford clothes. In addition to donating clothes, you can also give your clothes to thrift stores or consignment shops and get a small portion of your money back. If you wish to sell your clothes on your own, platforms such as Depop and Poshmark are perfect options. These online websites allow you to sell your clothes from your own account. Depop and Poshmark also allow shoppers to buy second-hand clothes.
If you do not wish to buy used clothes, consider purchasing clothes from websites and stores that are eco-friendly. Some online websites for eco-friendly and ethical fashion include EcoRoots, Ocelot Market, Good Apparel, Fox Holt, and Kaight.
Everyone should research their favorite clothing brands to make sure they are not negatively impacting our environment, and they should look into environmentally friendly alternatives. Additionally, shoppers can purchase shoes, clothes, and accessories made from recycled materials.
Take some time to reflect on the ways in which you purchase clothes and consider an alternative fashion purchase to a fast-fashion brand. These alternatives may not only help people in your community, but all across the world, as well as the environment.
Here you'll find lengthier pieces that cover more in-depth stories.