fast fashion

Fast Fashion Waste & How to Change

As we know, the climate crisis is an existential threat to our planet. Because of it, more and more governments, corporations, and people are adopting sustainability as a way of life. Textiles, including clothing and shoes, make up a significant amount of items in landfills. And while you could undoubtedly donate your clothes to charity, at the root of sustainability is a social and consumer shift. In other words, to address fast fashion waste, companies have to change their business models. More importantly, consumers also have to change how they purchase and when.

In this article, we’ll define fast fashion waste for you, and then we’ll share suggestions for how you and your family could become more sustainable.


What is Fast Fashion Waste?

It’s an open secret that the fashion industry has a sustainability problem. Meaning it’s not a top priority for fashion houses. Also, the fashion industry is so complex (e.g., designers, manufacturers, merchandisers, stores, fashion media) that it takes a concerted effort at all levels for change to occur. Unfortunately, the fashion industry hasn’t yet figured out who leads those efforts and how.

Nevertheless, consumers can push to eliminate fast fashion waste. In short, the term describes the fashion that moves from the catwalk and fashion shows quickly to the stores to meet the demand of new trends. Moreover, it’s an economic circle because designers sell the fashion at discounted prices because of the high demand.



What You Could Do Toward Sustainability

As we know, consumers possess a lot of power. And that means that the public could make it less economically imperative for designers, manufacturers, and stores to sell fast fashion. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you and your family could lean toward eliminating fast fashion waste.




  1. Stay Informed About the Fashion Industry future of clothing industry

The first thing every consumer should do is to become an informed and conscious consumer. If you love fashion, that’s great. However, sustainability needs to become a priority in the industry. At present, 10% of fashion industry executives view sustainability as an avenue that offers them growth opportunities. So far, only 30% of brands in the fashion industry have signed the Fashion Pact. One of the elements of the pact is to report on the carbon emissions in clothing manufacturing. In short, the fashion industry as a whole has to step up to help end fast fashion waste.



upcycled jacket fast fashion

  1. Extend the Life of the Clothing in Your Closet

The average American family spends $1,800 annually on clothing and fashion. Moreover, 50% of women say that¬† 25% of what’s in their closets is never worn. So, consumers have to reconsider fashion purchases as a whole. A great place to start is to upcycle your clothes or do a clothing drive for a cause in their community. Consumers can also seek to donate their clothing to charity. Whatever the approaches taken, these activities allow you to become a socially responsible and sustainable consumer. Ultimately, everyone has to start someplace, and beginning with what you currently own is a great starting point.




fast fashion trends

  1. Don’t Purchase Clothing Just Because It’s Trendy

Fighting fast fashion waste means, as a consumer, that the next time there’s a great trend, you have to consider not participating. The short of it is that the fewer consumers who give in to trends, the less money the fashion industry will make. And the less money the industry makes, the greater the force on them to move toward sustainability. Socially responsible consumers have to become conscious consumers, so we all have a chance to save our planet. And remember, fast fashion is cheap, but it comes at a high cost to the planet.






fairtrade vintage store

  1. When You Do Purchase Fashion, Consider the Source

Sure, times will come when you and your family will need new clothing. However, what you want to do aside from avoiding fashion trends is to become super-aware of who’s making the clothes. For example, be aware of clothing produced by brands in developing nations and how people suffered human rights abuses and low, unsustainable wages. As an informed consumer, the next time you purchase clothing from a brand, you want to understand where they stand on social responsibility. Moreover, look to patronize brands that have third-party and social responsibility certifications. Those include B-Corps and Fair Trade companies.




ethical sweater

  1. Support Ethical Stores and Businesses in Fashion

Another way to fight fast fashion waste is to patronize ethical businesses. Companies doing the work to sell sustainable clothing and be socially responsible need the business. You could start by looking at ethical online stores, which includes Good Apparel, to buy clothing. Also, take a look at thrift shops in your community. Because sustainability has become fashionable, many towns and cities have thrift stores popping up. Remember, businesses, including those in the fashion industry, operate to make a profit. Consumers have to incentivize designers, manufacturers, and other associated companies that it no longer makes financial sense for them to promote fast fashion.



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