Fast fashion and its impact
by Nelly Rosenwirth (2008) Gisela-Gymnasium, München/Germany on 2023-08-18

This article was written by Nina Kayser (2008) and Nelly Rosenwirth (2008), both from Gisela-Gymnasium München Germany. They created also the picture.


Fast fashion and its impact on environment and living conditions


Dear young readers,

this article is about fast fashion and the impact on the environment. Many people buy from fast fashion suppliers, but what is behind the term, why is fast fashion so widespread and what is happening in the background of production?

Fast fashion brands react to new trends at very short notice, bringing new collections to the market almost every week at low prices. For example, H&M, Zara, Mango, and Primark. The problem with that industry is that it has a very negative impact on the environment. Most common materials used in the fast-fashion industry are synthetic materials (e.g., Polyester, Polyacrylic). By washing these materials, microplastics are released and end up in the water and subsequently in the sea. The fabrics are difficult to recycle because the fibers are not suitable for making new clothes.

Another big problem are the working conditions, they are miserable: starvation wages, unpaid overtime, lack of social security, lack of safety standards and discrimination are commonplace. A Bangladeshi worker would need to be paid 4,5 times more than the current minimum wage to afford a decent living standard and almost 9 times more to support a family.

The pollution caused by fast fashion is an issue that requires urgent attention and consumers can play an important role in driving change by supporting sustainable and ethical fashion brands, choosing high-quality clothing that lasts longer.

We think that it´s important to pay attention to what you buy and what industries you support. There are many other great ways to do more eco-friendly shopping, such as secondhand shopping or flea markets. In this way, we save resources and contribute to the end of the fast fashion industry.

Thanks for reading this article! We hope you liked it!