Fast fashion is the reason why I shop secondhand. From being the queen of Depop and eBay to charity shop diving, I am starting to get the hang of it.
I went to an event in London where they were offering tips on how to be more sustainable and one thing I took away with me is that I know I could easily shop secondhand. After all, I had been doing it for months already. So I started following sustainable and Eco friendly accounts on Twitter and Instagram to get some more tips and follow like minded people. But when it comes to the fast fashion industry, what are the facts? We are always hearing how bad fast fashion is, but how bad actually is it? Let’s find out, shall we?
- It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one t-shirt. That’s how much we usually drink over a 3 year period
- Americans buy twice as many items of clothing than they did 20 years ago
- Extending the life of clothing by a further 9 months would reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20-30% each
- It takes polyester 100 years to degrade on landfill
- Australians are the world’s second largest consumers of fashion. On average they consume 27kgs of new clothing and textiles a year and the average woman only uses 33% of her wardrobe
- Greenpeace estimates that around 20% of clothing won’t be worn a single time
- Around 40% of apparel in the United States is imported from China.
- 80% of garment workers are women aged 18-35 who have no access to maternity leave
- In 2018 fashion shoppers spent £3.5 billion on Christmas party clothing
- Asos sources more than 59 million plastic mailing bags and five million cardboard mailing boxes every year to deliver to their customers
- The fashion industry contributes £28 billion to the UK economy
- Over 100 billion garments are made each year and 40% of the items will be discarded or unworn
- Only 10% of donated clothes in charity shops and thrift stores ever get bought
- In the USA 10.5 million tons of clothing is sent to landfill every year. That’s about 30 times as heavy as the empire state building
- 1 garbage truck of clothes is burned every second which is enough to fill Sydney harbor every year
- Total green house gas emissions from textiles production are more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined
- The global apparel and footwear industry accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gases
- There are roughly 40 million garment workers worldwide, the majority of whom make less than $3 a day
- In Bangladesh, garment workers make £44 a month which is 1/4 of a living wage
- 60% of garment workers in India and Bangladesh have experienced harassment, verbal or physical abuse
Aren’t these facts insane? Do you feel any differently about how and where you buy your clothes from? For me, I can’t buy anything from a retailer unless it’s an absolute necessity such as knickers and socks (haven’t found anywhere sustainable to buy these so if you have recommendations please send them my way).