Fast fashion is a term used to describe fashions that are available at relatively low prices today. The word “fast” shows how quickly a retailer can move a design from the catwalk (show) to the store, keeping up with the constant demand for more and varied styles.
With the advent of globalization and global economic growth, supply chains have become international, shifting growth in fiber, textile manufacturing, and garment construction to areas of cheaper labour.
Increased consumption encourages the production of cheap clothing, and prices are suppressed by outsourcing (outsourcing) production to low- and middle-income countries (Bick et al., 2018).
The fast fashion industry has long been in the category of irresponsible behavior such as environmental destruction, labor exploitation, and many more. “Fast fashion” is a term used to describe the strategies retailers use to convey rapidly emerging trends.
As the fashion cycle is getting faster and faster, this leads to unsustainable production techniques to meet consumer demands and increase profits (Liu et al., 2020).
According to Business Insider, fashion production alone comprises 10% of the total global carbon emissions produced. These activities pollute rivers and 85% of textiles are dumped in landfills every year. Even just washing clothes, we release 500,000 tons of microfiber plastic into the ocean every year, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles (Maiti, 2020).
Without us realizing it, this fast fashion activity is very dangerous for our environment from its carbon dioxide emissions, its textile waste, to its microfiber plastic waste which many people don’t even know about.
Therefore, knowledge about fast fashion is very important because without the fast fashion industry our environment is already under threat, namely climate change with a little of our awareness, we can help reduce a little pollution released from the fashion industry.
From the problems that have been described previously, we must begin to be aware of the dangers of fast fashion. Lately, environmental activists have started to have new ideas to reduce activities in the fast fashion industry, namely by changing to sustainable fashion or sometimes also called slow fashion.
Sustainable fashion is an inclusive term that describes products, processes, activities, and actors (workers and consumers) that aim to make the fashion industry carbon neutral, built on equality, social justice, animal welfare, and ecological integrity (Henninger et al. , 2016).
Concerns about the future are preoccupied with environmental changes. In response to concerns about the environmental impact of clothing production and consumption, a new approach which is one of the tenets of sustainable fashion is recycling, recycling has become well known among industry leaders aiming for future success (Brooks et al., 2017). With the principle of recycling we can reduce the cycle of using excess water when making clothes and also reduce the textile waste generated.
Sustainable fashion also encourages the fashion industry to change their synthetic materials into organic materials, namely organic cotton with 100% environmentally friendly materials so that if they cannot be recycled, the clothes can decompose properly.
Cotton is grown worldwide and is an important crop in the economic sector for many countries, but growing cotton organically is still a small component of total production (Ellis et al., 2012).
By using organic cotton that is 100% derived from cotton without synthetic materials the fashion industry not only improves their industry but also the cotton farming industry as well.
Even with small steps, we as a society can help reduce waste from fast fashion by learning about the dangers of fast fashion and also implementing sustainable fashion or slow fashion. Let’s start to be aware of the deteriorating condition of the environment on earth and help repair the already damaged situation with our behavior which may be said to be small but can certainly help.