A wave of fast fashion has engulfed us for a long time. It is cheaply produced clothing designed to bring catwalk designs to the mainstream as quickly as possible. We would never say never wear or purchase these clothes, but an air of caution must be practised. Fast fashion has many hidden prices, not just in your wallet.
Getting clothing from the source to the shop as quickly and as cheaply as possible has some obvious human costs to it. Worker’s health and conditions are constantly being jeopardised through their long hours, lack of resources, exposure to harmful chemicals, and often physical abuse. The people who make fast fashion clothing have been confirmed to be underpaid, underfed, and pushed to their limits because there are often few other options.
Environmental costs are equally as bad. Many fast fashion products use toxic chemicals, dangerous dyes, and synthetic fabrics which seep into water supplies in foreign countries (where the clothing is made) and at home when the clothing is washed. Producing synthetic fibres in itself is highly damaging to the environment, they are manufactured from oil. One polyester shirt has a 5.5 kilogram carbon footprint compared to a cotton shirt with a carbon footprint of just 2.1 kilograms.
Its not all doom and gloom. There is a growing rise in environmentally and socially responsible fashion brands, check out some of our tagged friends. Slow fashion is a movement towards mindful manufacturing, fair labour rights, natural materials, and lasting garments. Conscious fashion means there are brands, communities, and individuals who are fighting for the safety of our earth and fellow humans. Buying a garment from a responsible brand ensures that you have agency over your personal style, are getting a quality product, and are protecting those that need it most.
We actively practice many socially and environmentally responsible practices. Check out the meet the makers section for more on our social practices and check out our environment blog post for some of our environmental polices.
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