By: Norissa White-Isaacs
Fashion Blogger for the Garnette Report
This summer I spoke to many people about sustainable fashion in New York City and Tampa, Florida. Many people I spoke to did not know the meaning of fast fashion. So what is fast fashion? Fast Fashion is an ongoing trend within the fashion industry today that includes brands like Zara, Forever21, H&M, and many more. However, buying the cheap and ‘trendy’ clothing we love may result in many negative consequences. For one, it is very wasteful to constantly buy cheap clothing that can not sustain wear longer than a year. In fact, the fashion industry is number two to the oil industry in pollution. That is a scary statistic, but why does it exist? The answer is that the production of fast fashion garments requires chemicals and energy which needs a lot of oil, which produces byproducts that get into the water.
What are synthetic fibers?
The fast fashion garments are made with synthetic and inorganic materials. Synthetic fibers include polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, acetate, spandex, and latex. Unfortunately, unwanted clothing ends up in landfills around the world; synthetic fibers do not decompose or breakdown, therefore causing more greenhouse gases to be emitted into the environment. In addition, the sewing and the dying all produce large amounts of carbon emissions into the environment.
What can we do to be more sustainable?
A famous German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, “less is more”. Less is certainly more in this case. It is more sustainable to sell or give away old clothing, and it can put more money in your pocket if you’re looking for ways to earn cash. I usually give away my old clothes to the Salvation Army and to Goodwill because that shirt I do not want to wear anymore can still be worn in less developed countries that depend on clothing donations from other countries for clothing.