Biodiversity Nepal
For the Future Generation

The Expensive Cost of Cheap Fast Fashion

The rise in Fast Fashion industry, environment and labor market

Andrei Stanescu / Getty Images

Buying clothes in Dashain is sacred as well as a fun tradition. This time of the year, people hoard in the shops to grab new clothes. However, fashion trends are not limited to festive seasons nowadays. There is an urge among the people, especially the younger generation, to get hands-on the trendy clothes and flaunt them on social media- regardless of the time of the year.

This clothing induced fad gives a boost to the “Fast Fashion Business”.

Fast Fashion is the replica clothing of high-fashion brands that are produced using cheap materials and labours. It drives consumers to buy garments at their peak trend and discard them after a few wears. 

In recent years, the one-time wear clothes have taken the fashion industry by storm. According to the University of Queensland 2018, the global consumption of clothes has increased by 400% in the past 2 decades with 80 billion pieces of clothing bought each year. If the current trend continues, the number is expected to climb in the future.

Though cheaply available, fast fashion is a sustainability concern. It has an expensive impact on the environment as it uses large quantities of water, energy, and resources. The world bank reports that the fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emission, which is higher than collective emissions from both international flights and shipping.

Even simply washing these synthetic clothes releases micro-plastics in the ocean. This hampers the aquatic biodiversity that ingests the tiny plastics as food. Furthermore, the cheap chemicals and dyes used in these clothes leach into the water bodies and pollute them.

Another dark-side of Fast Fashion manufacturers includes their reliance on overseas labourers. The workers involved with these companies are often overworked, underpaid, and deprived of basic human rights. According to 1millionwomenearn, workers are paid less than 3 dollars a day with prolonged working hours.

Giving rest to the fast fashion industry is a global urgency. Ethical consumers should be always aware of their brands and products. One should not turn a blind eye to a few days of fashion trends. For this, supporting local business is always a plus. These days thrifting and second-hand clothes have also started to gain popularity among sustainability enthusiasts. 

So, let’s the opt-out for fashion choices that are eco-friendly, long-lasting, and ethically wearable. 

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