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.
- Here’s a list of companies that approach fashion from an ethical lens
Read more about the cost of fashion:
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.