Sustainable Fashion: Issues with the Fashion Industry

Staff Writer

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Over the last couple of years, there has been a series of unexplainable inconveniences with the fashion industry. Some of these issues arise from animal cruelty, minimal wage pay for its workers, health and safety risks, and so on; but the one that has caused many people to bring their attention to the fashion industry, is the effects that they have on environmental degradation.

The production and distribution of the shift of mass manufacturing cheap clothing for fashion, contributes to differing forms of pollution, including air, water, and soil.  The chemicals on the textiles of the clothing is considered harmful and it has been stated that the fashion industry is responsible for at least 92 million clothes wasted per year; and has been ranked as one of the highest industries in terms of environmental degradation.

The fashion industry also suffers from rising trust deficit. In the last couple of years, many designers have been accused of several crimes such as: racism and cultural appropriation, and human trafficking in order to get employees to work for them without having to pay them. This has presented a series of events that have been more harmful within their brands, since they do not sell as many products as they used to any longer. But how can we stop this problem from happening? Well, as a way to to prevent contributing to this problem, here is a list of things you can do so that you can sleep at night knowing you are not contributing to this problem:

  • Stop buying fast fashion: Start doing research and give your money to brands that are more ethical and cause less harm to the environment.
  • Think about styling: Think about other brands that can complement your style while protecting the environment at the same time. 
  • Buy second hand clothing: Go thrift shopping.
  • Stay out of high street stores: Try to find brands that are not out there and are not known for “trendy” clothing.
  • Buy better quality clothing: Although it is sometimes expensive, it has been noted that the quality of the clothing has a lot to do with the impact the company has on the environment, which is less than companies that do not have better quality clothing.

There are a lot of issues with the fashion industry, however, being educated on the topic can contribute to a more sustainable future.