Are fast fashion trends destroying our planet?

Make sure you’re sustainable, from head to toe

Walking down the high street, what do you see? Signs boasting big sales offering now-or-never deals that only a fool would walk past. Many of us are guilty of just ‘popping in’ our favourite stores for a quick look, but leaving with an armful of bags; an innocent habit which only seems to hurt our bank accounts, right?

Many retailers are known for their low prices, but they often give poor-quality clothing in return. A bargain jumper that’s knocked down from £20 to a fiver may look great for the first few wears, but it won’t be a great surprise when holes appear, and threads start to come loose – meaning it will soon be sent to landfill.

Buying cheap clothing that we end up never wearing is also part of fast fashion. But we’re all guilty of buying items that go from our shopping bag to the bottom drawer.

When we wash clothing, tiny fragments of plastics – known as microplastics – are released down our drains and into our waterways. Animals can ingest these microplastics, which can cause them to become seriously ill, suffering from a number of health issues.

two girls enjoying the sunshine while shopping

Hidden plastic

When polyester clothing is thrown to landfill, it can take up to 200 years to fully degrade. So, clothing which is discarded after one wear will sit in landfill for the rest of your lifetime.

The act of impulse buying clothes that we don’t need isn’t as innocent as it first may seem. Each item will have an ecological footprint, and will draw on natural resources, use water and leak C02 into the atmosphere. From a garments production, to the moment it arrives in your home, it will be contributing to global warming.

Unfortunately, fast fashion is proving to be a hard industry to turn our backs on. Many of us believe we don’t have the spare cash to splurge on top-quality items – but that’s where we’re wrong.

By avoiding throw-away garments, saving our pennies, and buying fewer, higher-quality items we’re more likely to save money. This is because we will have to top up our wardrobe less, as clothing will last longer.

bright clothes on rail

Avoid fast fashion trends in four easy steps

1 Make clothes withstand the test of time by repairing them rather than toss them in the bin. If a garment breaks, get the needle and thread out, and give it a new lease of life.

2 Donate unwanted items to a charity shop or sell them online instead of throwing them away. This way, you’ll be keeping garments out of landfill and giving them to someone who will wear them.

3 When buying new clothes, opt so brands that are of a higher-quality. These will be less likely to fade and break, so they’ll last longer.

4 Ask yourself if you really need an item before you buy it. We’re all guilty of having 101 plain black dresses when we only ever wear the same two or three.