All for the “Low Low” Price of Pollution

You pay much more than you think


Take a look at your closet. Notice the amount of clothing that you have and see how much you’ve barely worn or didn’t even touch. This is a global problem, excessive shopping and the rise of fast fashion. I myself have this problem and I realize how frequently I buy a garment……..every single time I walk into a department store. The last thing I bought was a pair of pants from H&M. I don’t even need pants. But…. how do we reassure ourselves that what we buy is going to last us enough to wear multiple times? We can’t. 

Now more than ever shopping is more accessible through the internet.  You could simply buy your clothing from the comfort of your home. Fast fashion has been an increasing trend for decades now and it’s becoming something so normalized and a part of the fashion industry.  Fast fashion is what it sounds like, everything is made fast, even the amount of times you wear your clothing. The garments are meant to change as quickly as the trends come and go, all at low prices. This is a way to obtain more consumers, everytime you walk into the store or enter their website, you see something new you want to purchase. Industries are producing twice as much clothing than they used to. The only thing decreasing is the quality. 

It’s also one of the many causes of the deterioration of our planet.  It accounts for 20% of water pollution, all a result of creating such cheap garments from textile making to dyeing, not to mention taking up 10% of carbon emissions, estimated to rise 40% in the next couple years (2030). Most of the textile waste likely ends up in landfills to bring in the latest trends, especially found in developing nations, such as Ghana. Some of the clothing is never used but for the store to remain relevant, they simply get rid of it to bring in the new. To account for the immoderate manufacturing of these inexpensive clothing pieces, synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon are so easily produced,  but require a lot of petrochemicals (like plastic) to be used, releasing greenhouse gasses and potentially dangerous toxins. 

To help combat fast fashion, it is recommended to donate gently used clothing, buy higher quality clothing (without it having to be so expensive), avoid buying from fast fashion chains so much, consider buying used clothing if it’s something you like to do, and recycle/repurpose the clothing you already have. The best solution to end the excessive production of clothing and reduce the carbon footprint is simple: Don’t buy more than what you need.