Black Friday, in November 2020, set a record for the second-highest online spending day in U.S. history. In a single day, consumers purchased $9 billion worth of goods. Billion with a “B.”
Increasing amounts of consumer purchases are “fast fashion“—fashion trends that leave as quickly as they come. The Ethical Consumer describes “fast fashion” as being fast in every way: “the changes in fashion are fast; the rate of production is fast; the customer’s decision to purchase is fast; delivery is fast; and garments are worn fast.” But why is this such a problem?
First, with the exception of the agriculture industry—the most destructive industry the planet has ever seen—the fashion industry consumes more water than any other industry in the world. Second, the United Nations reports that it is responsible for 8-10 percent of global carbon emissions. The third reason may surprise you.
Discarded clothing is as toxic as discarded tires or plastics. This is because clothing is made with synthetic materials and treated with chemicals, so it can take 200 years to biodegrade. As a result, it piles up—in natural landscapes. One mountain of clothing waste in Chile’s Atacama desert is growing at the remarkable rate of nearly 40,000 tons per year.
This holiday season, you can do your part to help prevent clothing waste. Sign this petition and buy less fast fashion.
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
- Ban Clothing Companies From Burning Unsold Merchandise
- Tell Levi’s to Stop Polluting Rivers in Bangladesh
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