Southern New Hampshire University
Fast fashion– an industry titan that has been dominating textile markets since the 90s has rarely had its ethicality and environmental footprint looked into until recently. Fast fashion is an economically effective business model that adopts a “take, make, dispose” system by profiting off of the constant overproduction and overconsumption of cheap clothing globally, at the expense of exploited textile workers. Each step in the creation of a garment takes place in mainly unregulated developing nations where ample pollution and CO2 emissions along with textile, water, and energy waste gets omitted until the finished product reaches its ideal end goal: the hands of the trendy American or European impulse-buyer. From there, the fast fashion cycle repeats itself as the clothes are only worn a few times before they’re subsequently thrown away and added to the millions of tons of textiles that are currently sitting in landfills unable to decompose. The continuous output and disposal of textiles in this industry now makes up ~10% of greenhouse gasses per unit of material, making it the second largest polluter in the world that contributes to ~10% of pollution globally, amongst other things. While it’s nearly impossible to make change from the root of the problem, there are small steps that this modern society of consumers can make to pressure industry decision-makers to be more sustainable, humane, and environmentally conscious in the production of clothes. To get a scope of how much people understand this issue, local trends will be surveyed and analyzed, sustainable lifestyle changes will be promoted, and opportunities for others to do their part and feel like a part of something bigger through various programs will be utilized. It’s of the utmost importance to identify the exact pressures that are being put on the planet on a smaller scale in order to comprehend the bigger picture before the industry pushes the Earth and its resources past a point of no return.