Greed at work
The rise of fast fashion has not only fattened the wallets of stockholders and CEO’s it’s also increased waste and pollution in our environment. All whilst, conditioning Americans to treat clothing as a disposable commodity.
Some fashion brands are churning out new styles faster than ever. Heavily exploiting influencer advertising in order to hawk their sweat shop wares to impressionable Americans. Of course they target younger consumers with dirt cheap clothing this in turn reduces the spending power of young Americans while pushing inferior disposable articles of clothing.
What does this mean?
No doubt , more waste in the landfill and a wasteful culture. Of course to a certain extent, waste can be mitigated through donating and recycling efforts.
Unfortunately it’s not enough, as a matter of fact according to the environmental protection agency 84% of all clothing ever made in the united states will either end up in a landfill or incinerator.
Those statistics are shocking considering Americans throw away 82 lbs of clothing per year.
Doesn’t sound like much you say?
Hold on… read below, as the nationally the numbers become absolutely staggering.
How much is that nationally?
15 million tons, well what the ??? That is 30,000,000,000 lbs of most of which is cheap, low quality clothing made with synthetic fibers. Aka petroleum.
Recycling isn’t the solution.
Why? keep in mind even recycling and donating take up natural resources and of course increases your carbon footprint.
Why is this happening?
Money of course, the faster trends change the more money the companies can pocket.
Toxic Dyes, Oil based clothing.
Of course let’s not forget clothing must be dyed in order to match your particular style. The dyes and byproduct end up being dumped in rivers and streams in less developed countries.
What you can do.
Believe it or not there is plenty you can do, in fact consumers are guilty of throwing away 75% of all clothing.
- Don’t buy new clothing, shop 2nd hand. Shopping second hand will save you thousands of dollars over the years in addition to giving you peace of mind.
- Buy quality classic styles, no doubt they endure the test of time. This is a no brainer, just like when you buy a car you don’t want it to look dated a year after purchase.
- Shop cottage industry. The rise of the internet has created a new cottage industry with vendors providing home made or locally made American products. Try etsy or google it.
- Buy natural cotton or wool clothing. Do you really want petroleum based products on your skin?
- Avoid polyester and other synthetic fabrics. Again, polyester is made of oil and who really wants that. Also, synthetic fabrics take centuries to decompose in a landfill.
- Keep your clothing longer.
Aside from not purchasing fast fashion and keeping your clothing longer make it a habit to donate your clothing.
It’s gotten so easy there is little excuse to not do so.
In fact, in the San Francisco Bay there’s even a small company run by vets, they will literally eco dumpster your junk.
They started in Redwood City but now service San Francisco and San Jose.
Wait, what? Yes they will scavenge the dumpster you rent from them and scavenge for recyclable material.
More and more services are popping up to help mitigate waste and divert waste streams away from landfill.
While now it's a drop in the bucket capitalism always has a way of encouraging people to do the right thing if it's profitable.