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Organic, bio, recycled – lately you can these buzz words more and more often, when shopping for clothes. There are fast fashion stores, where you can bring back your used clothes and they promise their recycling. But you might wonder, whether these are real activities or just marketing tools, so you feel less guilty, if you keep on buying more garments. While the biggest problem is still overconsumption in the fashion industry and the industry fails to lessen its impact on the environment.
A few alarming data: in the past 20 years we have bought 65% more clothes than before and these we only used for half the time. The shoes and T-shirt production doubled globally and 2/3rd of them end up in landfills in a few years.
We – the customers – put pressure on the industry in need of cheaper and cheaper clothes, and manufacturers do everything to keep the prices lower – however they can. The price of fashion products decreased to half on average. One way producers can do this, is using not recyclable, syntethic materials – since its the cheapest. Polyester is half of all textile production currently.
Most companies are not really aware and does not care about what circumstances their material are produced under. Today the carbon-dioxid emission of the fashion industry is between 4-10 % of the total industrial emission.
Nowadays a fast fashion company launches more collections every season (some 20-25 per year), but fail to sell it in that season, only at sales. 40% of fast fashion products are sold at discount price. The life cycle of the garments are shorter and shorter, the cheaper clothes are, we more easily change and throw them away for new ones.
So what do companies really do to make a change? Honestly, not much. Despite all their efforts and initiatives, only 1% of garments get recycled.
Since the industry is not going to change these tendencies in a while, we have to try to make change ourselves – be more conscious in our lives and in our consumption.
Make better choices – which is indeed hard under todays economic situation – since a conscious choice in fashion can mean a higher price at that moment. However, if we make the right choices, less clothes can mean more (outfits), if we use them clevery!
Source: Harvard Business Review: The Myth of sustainable Fashion, 2022