Fast Fashion’s Threat to the Environment

883 words (4 pages) Essay in Environmental Studies

18/05/20 Environmental Studies Reference this

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Consumers and manufacturers should beware that fast fashion is seriously harmful to the environment. “Globalization has made it possible to produce clothing at increasingly lower prices,  prices so low that many consumers consider this clothing to be disposable” (Claudio 2007, P1). So, fast fashion is an idea of ‘throwaway’ which results in discarding a large number of garments every year. After producing and incinerating every item,  plenty of wastewater and contaminants without management keep damaging the environment.

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The most important thing is a large number of raw materials containing chemical elements which also are disposed of directly into rivers or the sea. This phenomenon not only leads to pollution, but also has negative impacts on creatures. Especially, people and animals are faced with an increased risk. For example, Thompson (2019) mentions that until 2050, fashion business accounts for higher than 25% of the global yearlong carbon cost. Meanwhile, when children inhale a large amount of polluted air their immune system and lungs are damaged (Schwartz 2004).

On one hand, most manufacturers use polyester which is filtered from fossil. Over the last 2 decades, a large amount of polyester and synthetic fabrics are needed to produce clothes so that plenty of emissions have been emitted (Šajn 2019). So, manufacturers should be responsible for that. On the other hand, because people use energy and poisonous materials to wash clothes, dying and ironing clothes, a lot of pollution is produced (Šajn 2019). As a result, consumers should share their responsibility to protect the environment.

It is suggested that governments should enact some policy to change the situation.

First, the government should educate people to change their fashion habits from young children to old citizens, which can promote environmental awareness. Then, they can pay attention to their habits and choose an ecological way. Although education is a good way to strengthen people awareness, it may take a long time to take effect. Second, it is suggested that governments should raise taxes in the apparel industry. For example, factories will pay more tax/per item when they delivery garments to the market. Also, consumers should pay more taxes for buying their clothes. When people dispose of their clothes, they should spend relatively high money. This suggestion may not only change consumer desire for buying more clothes,  may prevent the environment from being destroyed.

Besides, oil buckets may be delivered from long distance by railway or highway. Suppliers and manufacturers have to spend a large amount of money on transportation which contributes to global warming. At the same time, in the factories, raw materials are made into yarns with dying materials as well as plenty of leftovers thrown into rivers or landfills without management (Šajn 2019). According to the statistics, when manufacturers produce one item, it consumes vast energy. The most important thing is that a mass of cut-offs is thrown for the patterns which account for nearly 20% of apparel industry waste (Šajn 2019). The manufacturers should save or reuse some materials.

On the one hand, it is very cheap for manufacturers to import materials from developing countries. Machine decrease the cost of labour. On the other hand, it is

difficult for textile producers to reuse textile. The technology is not advanced enough to sort all mixed materials (Šajn 2019). Governments should encourage manufacturers to use more new materials and to invest in new technologies. First, it is suggested that new technology should be developed to recycle garments. However, it is a difficult task, because it may cost a lot of money and time. Second, there are several effective ways to solve those problems. Using more sustainable textiles to replace traditional cotton. Otherwise, cotton should be blended with other materials to extend clothes longevity (Šajn 2019). Every item should contain some percent of recyclable materials. So, manufacturers and consumers can minimize waste. Meanwhile, for example, around 2018, European countries are suggested to make a new plan about recycling and collecting separately, including paper, plastics and other materials (Šajn 2019). This is very helpful to reuse the materials.

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In short, the damage to the environment is a significant problem, leading to serious problems. Humankind and animals are suffering from that because food contains chemical materials. So, consumers, manufacturers, and governments must work together to protect the environment.

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