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As one of the leading sportswear brands globally, Nike finds itself embroiled in a storm. The company is at the center of a lawsuit alleging that it has used deceptive marketing to tout its sustainability line, which it claims uses recycled fibers. The controversy sparks a broader conversation about the environment’s impact of ‘fast fashion.
Source: CBS News/Youtube
If you’ve ever picked up an inexpensive, trendy top only to find it worn out after just a few years, you’ve experienced the ephemeral nature of fast fashion firsthand. The appeal of rapidly changing, affordable styles has led to an explosion of clothing production and waste, with grave environmental consequences that stretch from local landfills to far-off shores.
Fast fashion refers to the accelerated production and disposal cycle of clothing. Garments are produced at a higher frequency than traditional methods, but they’re also discarded much quicker, thus shortening their lifecycle. The environmental toll is hefty. Increased consumption of fast fashion accelerates the rate at which we dispose of these garments, leading to an alarming uptick in the quantity of Apparel ending up in landfills.
However, it’s a common misconception that our unwanted clothes, once donated, find a new lease on life. The truth, unfortunately, is that most of our cast-offs don’t get resold for others to wear. Over half of the donated clothes are exported to developing countries, where they enter a new cycle of resale. Those unfit for wear often end up as landfill, creating a global crisis of textile waste.
In Ghana, West Africa, for instance, clothing waste from overseas piles up into monstrous heaps, known locally as “tentacles”. These tangled masses of discarded textiles often wash up on beaches, embedding so deeply into the sand that removal becomes an impossibility.
However, the rising tide of fast fashion waste is beginning to face a worthy adversary: sustainable fashion. This movement has garnered increasing interest, with even celebrities like Angelina Jolie spearheading sustainable-focused brands. Sustainable fashion is yet to have a standardized definition in the industry, but there are ways to identify it.
When choosing sustainable clothing, consider the fiber content. Natural fibers are biodegradable, and recycled fibers negate the need for fresh resources, such as water, land, or fuel. A sustainable garment considers these factors, minimizing the environmental footprint in its production.
The lawsuit against Nike underscores the importance of transparency in sustainable fashion. Consumers deserve to know the truth about the environmental impact of the clothing they purchase. It’s not enough for companies to label their products as sustainable – they need to back up their claims with verifiable facts.
Fast fashion’s environmental toll is alarming, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The next time you shop, consider sustainable alternatives. Embracing mindful consumption is a small but powerful step towards creating a healthier planet. Together, let’s weave a future where fashion doesn’t cost the Earth.
- 8 Zero-Waste Circular Brands Saving The Planet From Fast Fashion Pollution
- How Fast Fashion Has Changed The Way We Think About Clothes
- How the Fast Fashion Industry Destroys the Environment
- Kourtney Kardashian Barker Becomes Fast Fashion Brand Boohoo’s Sustainability Ambassador
- How to Buy Fast Fashion More Ethically
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!