Slow down on fast fashion


Alyssa Murhpy

Fast fashion may be appealing on some levels, but before embracing it, guest contributor Haasini Busireddy urges people to slow down.

Haasini Busireddy, Guest Contributor

Fast fashion is a prevalent topic in today’s society that is sometimes not as widely known as it should be. 

Fast fashion has a huge environmental effect on both the production and disposal of certain fashion brands. Clothing production requires a considerable amount of energy and resources, while it depends on toxic fabric dyes and other chemicals that contaminate fresh water. Fashion produces a tenth of the world’s carbon emissions

Fast-fashion brands may not design their clothing to last but they might become an important part of the fossil record.

Over 60 percent of fabric fibers are now synthetic fabrics that come from fossil fuels, which means that when our clothing ends up in a landfill it will not decay. About 85% of our textile waste in the US goes to landfills or gets incinerated.

The synthetic microfibers end up in the sea, freshwater and elsewhere, including the deepest parts of the oceans and the highest glacier peaks. It is possible that future archeologists will discover fast fashion brands such as Zara and H&M while investigating the various causes of carbon emissions in the environment. 

The textile industry is one of the darkest the world has seen. Textiles were instrumental to the development of the capitalist system, and its uses for abuse today have a long history. Slave labor in South America supplied factories in both England, where they were notorious for child labor and other horror stories. In the United States, factory fires took the rest of their lives in the 20th century.

There are immigrant workers in Los Angeles today who are victims of wage theft and exploitation, not to mention the Bangladeshi, Chinese, Vietnamese and other laborers who face working conditions that are at best grim. Fashion is an industry that has depended on the labor and force of the powerless and voiceless, and the majority intend on keeping them that way.