The latest collection by Roma Soida exploring the Climate Change theme.
Anger: greenhouse gas emissions
In the classification of deadly sins, the ancient theologians put anger as the most important, and the main sin of fast fashion is its impact on the climate. Now the fashion industry emits into the atmosphere as much carbon dioxide and its analogues as the whole of Russia – the count goes to billions of tons, this is the third industry in terms of the number of emissions, after the food and construction industry.
Lust: water pollution
The production of cheap T-shirts and jeans from the mass market uses a tremendous amount of fresh water. According to World Bank analysts, up to 20% of all industrial wastewater pollution occurs only in fabric dyeing processes, and this does not include water that is spent on growing cotton and other stages of making clothes.
The marketing model for all fast fashion brands is to produce as cheap clothes as possible as quickly as possible – and this is done at the expense of cheap labor. Brands place their orders at textile factories in developing countries, whose owners compete with each other and are ready to take on the job for minimal money.
“Fast” mass market fashion was nicknamed because the collections in stores are changed every couple of weeks, encouraging customers to come back for cheap new items again and again. This means that tens of kilograms of new things are brought to each outlet twice a month. In an effort to multiply their profits, fashion brands are increasing production: between 2000 and 2014, the number of garments produced doubled, and now stands at more than 100 billion units annually.
Laziness: No recycling and garbage dump
Since clothing is produced in huge quantities, a large proportion of it remains unclaimed and becomes trash. And, unlike many other categories of waste, there are difficulties with its processing – you need to divide things into components, sort by colors and compositions. Clothes are sent to landfills, where they will decompose for centuries (after all, there is a lot of plastic in modern textiles), releasing toxic substances into the atmosphere and soil.
Pride: Supply chain opacity
The fashion industry is a complex mechanism, consisting of many stages: you need to grow or obtain raw materials, create fibers and fabrics from them, sew things out of them, then deliver them to stores, advertise and sell. These stages are called supply chains. They can be disjointed, scattered around the world, making it incredibly difficult to track how a shirt went before it ended up in your closet – and what environmental and ethical issues that path might hide.
Since sustainable development has now become not even a trend, but a global vector for any industry, fashion brands are striving to become greener. Or pretend to be. This is called greenwashing – marketing moves aimed at making the company seem more sustainable, conscious, green and ethical than it really is.