The fashion industry is by far one of the fastest growing industries around with a staggering ecological footprint that is just as huge as the industry’s growth rate.
With trends changing faster than the seasons and the people’s evident desire to accumulate new things that are considered to be the next best thing being constantly nourished by the cleverly designed marketing campaigns of top brands like Balenciaga, Chanel, Gucci, and much more that thrive on people’s natural compulsions.
The majority see shopping as a stress relieving activity, while others see it as a habitual routine that brings them great satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. This is a demand and any business knows that where there is a demand they must act to provide a supply.
Investopedia defines fast fashion as inexpensive designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends. Gone are the days of fashion brands releasing new collections by the two seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter- fast forward to modern day society where the fashion industry churns out new designs almost every week!
There used to be four seasons in a year now with fast fashion there is 52 “micro-seasons” that supply new trends to aid the goal of fast fashion, which is for consumers to buy as many garments as they possibly can.
Trends come and go faster than you will ever expect but the space in your closet and the money in your wallet is not something that can easily be replenished with time. Can you recall a time where you found items of clothing that still had price tags on them? Or how about the time you purchased an expensive dress and had never even worn it out?
“Do you really need this?” Consumers repeat to themselves when they try to negotiate the value of purchasing an item that doesn’t have any immediate need, impulsive buyers are those that try to tame their compulsive behaviors but the thrill of having the “brand new” release of their favorite brand is just too great to deny.
Fashion brands know these things all too well not to take advantage of it, their job is releasing the top of the line trendy clothes and getting them on the market faster than lightning for the consumers to add to their already expansive wardrobe filled to the brim with last season’s clothes.
Out with the old and in with the new, however, the production and resources that go into creating fast fashion generate a huge ecological footprint which is highly destructive to the environment.
In a study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in cooperation with the Global Fashion Agenda, it reports that the garment industry emits 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, along with using an immense amount of water to grow cotton- that is responsible for major pollution due to the use of toxic chemicals that go into the process. In total, the study concludes that the industry produces 2.1 billion tons of waste per year.
Rather than helping the economy, consumers are patronizing to the growth of the fashion industry and the generation of their wealth that ultimately destroys the environment with every trend that they release.