KEEPING up with today’s clothing trends has you opening up online shops that contribute to the sickening culture of fast fashion, further damaging the earth.
Due to the cheaper rates it offers while receiving “good” quality garments, I wouldn’t blame you for buying tops from Shein or Shopee. Realistically speaking, it saves you a lot of money!
Sadly, easy things come with a price. Due to global demand for cheap garments, another environmental footprint has set place.
The fashion industry is accountable for 20 percent of water pollution in the world. Instead of adapting to Adidas’ compressed agent (which uses less water) used for fabric color, dye houses in India and China still depend on water for textile dyeing.
Textile dyeing is an essential process in producing garments. If the water post-dyeing is handled irresponsibly, it then results in pollution. In one instance, a small ditch in Bangladesh turned red because of the chemicals used by a tannery factory nearby which was dumped in the water.
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the fashion industry is also the second largest consumer of water worldwide. Producing shirts and jeans requires cotton farming, which requires hundreds of thousands of liters of water. Producing a single cotton shirt already requires 2,700 liters of water.
Because of cotton farming, too, the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan nearly dried up after cotton farmers used it as a water source for 50 years.
The demand for cheap clothes will urge dye houses to overlook environmental protocols, which will result in consuming and polluting what’s left of the earth’s water resources. Fast fashion is trendy but never environmentally friendly.
Now, how do we avoid taking part in this culture?
Upcycling old clothes
Upcycling not only calls the creativity inside of you, but it also helps the earth by many folds. Upcycling is taking your old clothes and converting them into something new to go with today’s trend. You can learn how to creatively upcycle your clothes through tutorials from Pinterest, Youtube, and Tiktok.
If someone would ask me what I like about local influencers, I would probably say that they promote thrift shopping or “ukay-ukay”. Thrift stores do not only reduce waste but is also a smart alternative especially when you’re on a tight budget. Ukay-ukay allows you to find great quality clothing without actually spending big.
Lean into brands that practice sustainable fashion
Being sustainable in the fashion industry means using garments that cause little to no harm in the earth’s resources. There are lots of brands that lean into sustainable fashion. Pact, for example, uses cotton garments certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The brand not only produces clothes for women but also sells for men, kids, and infants.
Fast fashion damages the earth. New clothes might complement your body, look good on your skin, and even upstage you from everyone else, but never forget the actions you take allows this planet to pay for the consequences. Let’s be kind to our mother earth by starting small. Let us stop investing in the culture of fast fashion and do the alternatives instead. (Patricia Julianne Pantojan/AdDU Intern)