While statistics can range, the data is unanimous: fast fashion is terrible for garment workers and the planet.
Did you know…
- The world produces 100 billion pieces of clothing every year.
- 30%, never sold, is dumped, trashed, or burned.
- The fast fashion industry contributes 5% of global green house gases.
- The fast fashion industry is the 2nd largest consumer of water.
- It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans. (It takes the average person about six years to drink that much.)
- The average American buys 70 new pieces of clothing per year.
- On average, a piece of clothing is worn 7 times before it is discarded.
- The monthly minimum wage of a Bangladeshi garment worker is $96
Here’s what you can do:
Parting ways with fast fashion isn’t easy, but you don’t have to do it overnight. We recorded a whole podcast on the subject (click to listen). Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make a Change. Buy fewer clothes and take better care of your wardrobe. Consider buying second-hand or borrowing from/trading with a friend. Purchase from brands committed to caring for the planet and paying their workers a living wage.
Go a Step Further. Don’t throw away clothes! Instead, repair, donate, or sell them. Or, take them to textile recycling centers.
Take the Lead. Learn more about consumerism and fast fashion’s impact on people and the planet. Read Aja Barber’s Consumed—I listened to it on Audible. Take on some of her challenges—write elected officials or your favorite brands to make your voice heard.
Looking for more inspiration to be a greener, more Planetarian version of yourself this year? Sign-up to receive our weekly “Greener You” Challenges!