It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2022. It’s certainly been a year, and if you’re anything like us, you’re excited to also say adieu to some of those bad habits and questionable decisions you’ve made since January. 2023 is all about leveling up–we’re going to be doing things that make us feel good, spending less time on social media, and taking better care of the planet and each other.
A big part of that includes saying farewell to fast fashion.
But what’s wrong with it?
Trust us, we know that fast fashion is an ultra-convenient and ultra-affordable way to get your hands on the outfit, purse, and jewelry you saw on your favorite celebrity or influencer. After all, what could be better than getting an Insta-worthy fit for tonight without breaking the bank? But, keep in mind that even though that denim jumpsuit you just put in your cart doesn’t cost a lot financially, we’re paying for it in so many other ways.
For one, fast fashion promotes overconsumption and waste. How many times have you bought a dress from a fast fashion retail site that didn’t last one round against your washing machine’s delicate cycle? A lot of times when this happens we just think, “well that’s ok, I got my wear out of it, after all it was only [insert price of a venti latte here].” This is the problem. Manufacturing garments takes enormous amounts of CO2 producing energy and a ton (actually 70 tons) of water, contributing heavily to global warming and water scarcity. Single-use garments also present a huge issue when they are subsequently discarded to fill up landfills where they can take more than 200 years to decompose, polluting the soil and groundwater in the meantime. Alternatively, unwanted clothing that escapes landfills is burned, pumping even more toxic chemicals into the environment. And don’t even get us started on the microplastics these clothes release into freshwater systems that eventually lead back to our own taps (gross).
Not only does fast fashion lead to terrifying ecological outcomes, but it also encourages the exploitation and human rights abuse of garment workers. Currently, these brands rely on people in low-income developing countries to produce this week’s season of clothes. It’s been documented that around 85% of garment workers only earn about $0.02-$0.03 per item made and work about 60-70 hours per week, taking home around $300 total per week. Not to mention the terrifyingly dangerous working conditions they have to endure. How is that fair?
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF @PANOSPICTURES/PUBLICEYE
As if it couldn’t get any worse, fast fashion brands are also in the business of ripping off real, hardworking designers. Gone are the days of getting mocked in the third period for your Channel crossbody or new Lacroste pink polo. Today, fast fashion giants are actually praised for their wannabe couture items. This stifles creativity and makes a world where everyone looks like everyone else, while celebrating outright plagiarism for the sake of poorly constructed, soon-to-be landfill, fodder.
In this new year, we are no longer supporting an industry that doesn’t support us–all of us.
Instead, we are supporting designers we can name who are making clothing that’s original, ethical, and ecologically friendly. That means using deadstock fabrics from local warehouses like Bastet Noir, powering factories with solar energy like Jambes en L’air, and working locally to produce eye-catching pieces like twin sister duo Jamila Mariama.
Sustainability is not a trend, it’s the future.
Check out our website to learn more about the amazing designers we support and learn what they are doing to include sustainability into their clothing.