Once upon a time, throwing together a last-minute outfit took time, imagination, and a damn good selection of accessories.
However, in our new climate of fast fashion and cheap-as-chips prices, the Thursday evening ‘what am I going to wear on the weekend?’ crisis is solved with a simple trip to your local shopping center – or a spot of fast delivery online shopping.
For the same price of a cheap meal, you can now be decked out head-to-toe in the latest fashion trends. Sure, the clothes might not last more than a few wears (or an encounter with the washing machine), but who cares when you are able to scratch that sartorial itch for under $50?
Sitting in a pile of clothes on your bedroom floor and moaning “I have nothing to wear!” is almost extinct, and we’ve never felt happier. But have you ever wondered how this love ’em and leave ’em fashion movement has been made possible?
The cost of the rapidly expanding ‘fast fashion’ industry is devastating to both the planet, and the people caught up in the production process. It’s time to stop and consider the true cost behind the price of fast fashion.
We are quickly racing towards the intersecting point where supply and demand in the fashion industry crash. We are demanding more than ever, faster than ever, and cheaper than ever. How fast can we expect the suppliers to run?
The 2015 documentary ‘The True Cost’ is one of those movies you can’t un-see. Tracking the production of cheap and cheerful Western fashion items from the rack all the way back to the factory, the viewer is shown scene after mortifying scene of horrifying work conditions, factory waste, human loss, and massive pollution.
Aussie climate change website 1 Million Women pulled out their five most unforgettable facts from the film:
The fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter.Right behind the oil industry!
The world now consumes a staggering 80 billion pieces of clothing each year.This is up 400% from two decades ago.One-in-six people work in the global fashion industry.A majority of these workers are women earning less than $3 per day. 250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years. Partly as a result of going into debt to buy genetically modified cotton seeds, courtesy of Monsanto.Only 10 per cent of the clothes people donate to charity or thrift stores get sold.The rest end up in landfills or flooding markets in developing countries like Haiti where they are bought by the box and kill the local industry.
Our behaviour is learned.
Asking people to simply stop shopping is not realistic. We have been prodded and primed as the consumer generation, and are only acting out what we know: that materialism is healthy, and shopping makes us feel good.
Advertisements for fast fashion pepper every media outlet. Whether you’re flicking through a magazine or flicking through the channels on TV, the messaging is loud and clear – shop fast, shop cheap, shop now!