The growth of throwaway fast fashion has meant that millions of us have bought things we don’t wear, have cheap clothes hanging in our wardrobe that were most likely made by people (or worse children) working in sub-standard conditions, and have discarded clothes which have ended up in landfill. Fast fashion while cheap on our wallets, has a huge environmental cost.
While many of us choose to buy organic food to stay healthy, people don’t see the link with the clothing they wear. In the case of cotton production, things have changed dramatically over the years to keep up with the insatiable need for an abundance of cotton to keep the fast fashion world afloat. Farmers globally are spraying their cotton crops with extremely unhealthy amounts of pesticides that have been linked to respiratory and neurological conditions in those around the harmful chemicals, like children of the Indian cotton farmers who are seriously affected and suffer long term medical issues. It is very rare to find a completely organic cotton crop today due to the increased need of the industry.
Fair Trade, organic clothing may be more expensive than the big chain fast fashion stores, but these are the true costs of the clothes and the seriously hard work that goes into creating them in a sustainable way. These products will last, unlike the estimated five weeks a cheap throwaway fashion item will.
It is up to us to consider thoughtful fashion over throwaway fast fashion. Decisions we make today will have a lasting legacy for us and the planet a whole.