If you’ve stuck around here long enough, you’ll know that I am an advocate of slow, sustainable fashion.
Much of this passion has come from my work looking at exploitation and human trafficking – realising the connection between what we consume and the people who make our stuff. I have spent years now learning about the fashion industry; the systems, the policies, the garment workers, the belly of the beast.
The fashion industry is the most pollutant industry in the world; second only to oil. There are huge environmental concerns that we just don’t consider when we bag a bargain. Did you know it takes 1800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make the average pair of jeans? The rise of fast fashion means that factories in developing countries (where labour is cheap) are manufacturing non-stop to keep up with our quick-fix excessive shopping demands. The factories are filling the air with toxic chemicals pumped out by machinery used to making synthetic clothing.
The effects of this relentless manufacturing is evident in climate change – an issue that impacts developing countries with particularly huge devastation. Climate change means that developing countries are experiencing overwhelming heat and vast areas of drought, leading to crop failure. Crop failure means that farmers can’t survive in business and trade. Business failure leads to poverty, malnourishment and eventually whole community vulnerability. Can you see how it all connects…?
Environmental issues in the fashion industry are one thing, but lately I’ve been feeling strongly that in order to see real change, we need to recognise that fast fashion is a massive feminist issue as well.