Fashion Pollution

Fashion Pollution: Waste in the Fashion Industry

Ever wonder how much pollution we incur worldwide just by wasting something as simple as clothing?

As a society, we are often more concerned about what new items are on trend each season and who is able to obtain the newest style. The norm of throwing clothing in and out of fashion is a hazardous habit that will lead our planet down an uncanny hole. Really, the mass waste of anything toxic will inevitably contaminate the world.

To make matters worse, fashion brands are mass-producing cheap clothing with harmful materials to keep up with the latest ever-changing trends. This is a dangerous scope of the fashion industry called fast fashion. Fast fashion ruthlessly overproduces clothing products that are meant for trendy clothing styles and are easily desirable at the moment. Issues such as this rise in the fashion industry cause it to be one of the most polluted industries in the world.

 Various shirts on hangers.
Image by jcomp on Freepik

A General Lens of Fashion’s Impact on the Planet 

The fashion industry has been involved in many environmental and social situations throughout its history. Some can be good or bad depending on the specific situation. There have been many positive outcomes from this industry but the negative side has always been overshadowed and ignored. 

Since the birth of fast fashion, the distribution of clothing products, and the exploitation of workers, there have been speculations that fashion is a toxic and wasteful industry. There are many offset instances that can view the fashion industry as more unfavorable to the world than it is beneficial. 

The fashion industry is responsible for the various toxic emissions that it releases into our air which then heightens the particles of air pollution. During the distribution process of clothing, international flights in shipping directives cause carbon emissions to be at an incline as they are released into our atmosphere. 

Not only does the distribution of clothing raise a problem but greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacturing process are of heavy concern as well. The fashion industry can be very problematic for the state of the environment, so there are multiple things to consider when understanding the effects that it takes on the planet. 

The Reality of Fast-Fashion

The rise of fast fashion essentially came to light when consumers were starved for the up-to-date styles and trends of the rapidly growing fashion industry. By yearning for more quick, affordable, and stylish fashionable pieces, consumers were able to join along societal standards and dress in a way that became satisfying to them in the short run. This occurrence would gradually take a negative toll on the environment at a high-speed rate. 

Fast fashion is one of the largest contributors to world pollution. Our sacred oceans and wildlife are constantly at risk as fast fashion grows more each day. Industrial water pollution has been apparent in this industry as fast fashion produces an immense amount of wastewater poisoning that continues to hurt our river and ocean environments. 

Fast fashion has been able to successfully emit microplastic pollution just for existing. When these unsafe and synthetically produced fabrics are washed, millions of tons of small plastic fibers are contaminating water systems that eventually reach our oceans. This large amount of plastic fibers mimic the same value of above 50 billion plastic bottles. The impact of mass-produced and then shortly-later discarded clothing will nevertheless destroy our aquatic livelihood for good as we know it. 

Fast fashion companies are a menace to the fashion industry because of their unsustainable practices that have led to an extreme environmental impact every day. On top of the “fast” and cheap production, the use of synthetic textiles, and leaving a massive carbon footprint, these inhumane companies are unethically producing their clothing products to their advantage. 

Without this realization, the average consumer tends to over-consume clothing that is considered fast-fashion from many major brands in the industry. It then becomes second nature to purchase clothing items that are deemed useful to our everyday lives. 

However, through this consistent routine, we are only contributing more to the issue of pollution. The reality is, fast fashion is a big problem and it is necessary for us to take a step in the right direction. This means putting our foot down to say no to the waste that comes from fast fashion. 

Sketch of hand holding Earth with various ecological symbols above it.

Environmental Progression 

After gaining a thorough understanding of the negative consequences that come from the fashion industry, there are ways that we, as a society, can make a change for the better. It is important to be aware of these issues so that a positive environmental and social impact can be made. Sustainability and eco-friendly approaches will make for an amazing progressive success. There are several ways to handle the world's problem of fashion pollution. 

Shopping responsibly is an important step to helping the elimination of the issue. There are many brands today that use organic materials, textile recycling, and natural fibers to implement a more biodegradable and environmentally friendly mode of production. By supporting these types of brands, we are going against the toxic routines of fast fashion-enabled brands which will benefit society in the long run. Shopping sustainably is the best way to preserve the environment of our planet. We would then be procuring a safe way of life as pollution will hopefully start to decline. 

Also read: 5 Top Ecological Projects

As you support organic brands, there are many benefits that come with such support. These brands often choose to do so because they are aware of the recurring issue and aim to find methods that will work against it. Ethical practices will more than likely be implemented by those who lead environmentally-aware brands. 

Also, as you shop, you will feel less inclined to need more clothing while making sustainable purchases. Sustainable clothing is made with organic materials that are durable and have new-like features. This will fill your wardrobe with better quality clothing that will not have to constantly be repurchased. This is a financially and environmentally better decision for society and the planet. 

Another way we can be more progressive is by encouraging our fashion lovers to follow the well-known process of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Second-hand clothing is always a great option for individuals that are looking to follow up with trends without contributing to the toxic production process of synthetic fabrics. You can shop secondhand and donate without feeling the guilt of purchasing new clothes that are not environmentally friendly. 

Sustainability is Our Friend 

Sustainability should be a major fragment of our daily lives. As we begin to consider the different impacts that the fashion industry has on our environment, we realize that it is simply not worth it to be damaging our planet. From unwanted issues such as air to water pollution, the industry can provoke an endless amount of problems that will eventually hurt every resource that we utilize on our planet. 

This is where we can pull in sustainability to our benefit. Using natural materials that our planet provides us will help us rejuvenate our social and environmental atmospheres. Rather than polluting our surroundings, this will be successful in refreshing our day-to-day needs. Be the progression toward a change in the world where we can stop the unfortunate reality of fashion pollution together. 

Written by Hannah Eltounsy

BeachCandy Swimwear is dedicated to finding new and better alternatives to toxic fashion culture. Follow our journey and keep checking our Organics Collection for new additions!

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