Climate change: Tackling fast fashion to save the planet

Climate change: The phrase is inescapable and shouldn’t be avoided. We need to act now to save our planet, but what impact do our clothes have on the environment?

We’re delving into the world of fast fashion and finding out how you can be sustainable.

These days its hard to find a plastic straw in your local restaurant and high street shops are switching their plastic bags for paper, but there’s another culprit that needs to be addressed in order to save the planet.

It’s called fast fashion and it needs to stop, now.

Fast fashion

Fast fashion produces inexpensive clothing for mass-market retailers in order to keep up with trends.

It’s nothing new and no secret, but has a hidden impact. Along with concerns around workers conditions and pay, there is massive amounts of waste and pollution, all contributing to climate change.

The issues around fast fashion have long been known by industry insiders, but the public is waking up to the damage being done.

Last year Stacey Dooley investigated the impact fast fashion is having around the world in a documentary for BBC Three, the findings shocked viewers.

Waste

Online retailers providing the latest trend pieces at a too good to be true price are the main culprits, and it is just that: Too good to be true.

Behind the low price tag of trend pieces there is an environmental and social cost. The textile industry creates more than a billion tonnes of CO2 a year, creates chemical and plastic pollution and, as proved by Stacey Dooley, can even dry up whole seas.

Each year we create more than a million tonnes of waste from clothes we no longer want, use, or that didn’t sell.

The impact that these emissions, waste and pollution are having on people, wildlife and the planet is detrimental.

Being sustainable

Where fast fashion comes with a low price tag, sustainable fashion often comes with a big one.

Buying from sustainable brands is a great way to ensure your clothing is ethical and eco-friendly, but there are other ways to be sustainable.

The obvious way is to curb your online shopping addiction – your bank balance will thank you, too. You don’t need a new dress for every night out or wedding reception, re-wearing what you already have is the easiest way to be sustainable.

Once you’ve decided it’s time to part with your clothes, take a trip to your local charity shop and donate them. While you’re there have a look at what you could buy to update your wardrobe, you’d be surprised at how many things still have their original tag on.

If you have clothing that you can’t donate, we’re talking old socks and ripped jeans that can no longer pass as a fashion statement, don’t put them in the bin. Find your local clothes recycling bin, usually situated in supermarket carparks.

However you decide to be sustainable, think twice before you click add to basket next time a fast fashion retailer has a flash sale.

How do you shop sustainably? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.

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