Fast fashion slows the roll

 

Let’s admit it: We like our clothes to be cheap and trendy.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average household in 2015 spent about $1800 a year on clothes.
  • According to Bloomberg, younger buyers are responsible for the volume of clothing sales, and with less money they’re buying at lower price points.
  • Fast fashion includes those mass-produced runway look-alikes, often made in countries with less regulation for workers and environment, that allow retailers to sell at low prices. Think: H&M.

Where does all that fast fashion go?

  • Consumers are more likely to toss cheaper, mass-produced clothes, maybe because fast fashion is not easily re-sold through the secondary market, like thrift stores.
  • According to the EPA, 25.5 billion pounds of useable textiles are thrown in the garbage each year.
  • That’s 70 pounds per American of bedazzled jeans, jeggings and cargo pants that are piling up in landfills.

What can we do about fast fashion?

  • H&M launched a take-back program that allows you to that drop used H&M clothing in a bin at their store.
  • Slow fashion is a growing movement dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices in clothing production.

Read more about the cost of fashion:

“The True Cost” Explores the Global Impact of Fast Fashion (Vogue)

Apparel Armageddon Across the Atlantic (Bloomberg)

 

Maybe you like the movement toward dressing down–like some of the most successful men and women in our country–and maybe you’ve worked out a way to either recycle clothes or buy clothes that is made with ethical standards. Should you wear these ethically-purchased, informal attire to work? The answer might not be as obvious as you think. Read the Debater article here.

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