These days the fashion industry is labelled as the second largest polluter to our world after oil. When one thinks about global warming we envision clouds of smoke floating up into the atmosphere, the antarctic melting and rainforests being cut down. We do not consider the clothes we wear.
The damaging effects on our world through fashion come from a multitude of disciplines such as the farming and creation of materials such as cotton, polyester and nylon, the chemicals and processes used in the dying and printing and the waste produced from the off cut’s of materials and the eventual discarding of clothes.
The unethical pattern continues when regarding who makes our clothes. With the uproar of fast fashion from the late 1990’s, the fashion market was constantly searching for ways to quickly introduce new styles. Mirroring the major fashion market, yet reinterpreting it with low cost materials and cheap labour. This meant that large factories located in Bangladesh, Indonesia and China were employing individuals, paying them less than $3 a week. Moreover, the working conditions were unbearable with employees sewing for up to fourteen hours straight without any break. Not to mention the unhealthy increase in child labour, that is against the law in most countries, but somehow it is still taking place in poorer parts of the world. In addition, the increase in the travelling and packaging of clothes due to them being made in the Far East and shipped over to Europe, not only adds to the pollution of the atmosphere but supports the cheap and unethical labour.
It is presently easy to stay on trend at a low cost, but more of us need to take a step back and try to understand the effects this has on our planet, and for the future generations before it is too late. If we all try to educate ourselves, share this knowledge with society and try a little harder to consume more ethically, we are working wonders for our world and onto a right path to protect our world and every individual in it.