Fast fashion

One o the reasons behind why our founders decided to start an eco-friendly business, is to act against climate change, By acting in this way we believe that we are contributing to a significant decrease in pollution. We have been talking about slow fashion pollution on our website, today we decided to open a discussion about fast fashion and the solution, that we think I use to help make a change. 

​Clothes shopping used to be an occasional event, an act that has happened few times a year when the seasons changed, or when we destroy what we had.  After 20 years, a new habit was created. Clothes became cheaper, trend cycles became shorter,  and shopping became a hobby. Enter fast fashionas the global chains now dominate our high streets and online shopping.  But what is fast fashion?  And how does it impact people, the planet, and animals? All these stores sell cool, trendy clothing you can buy with your loose change, wear a and fashion as, and then throw away. Suddenlfirsteveryone could afford to dress like their fav urite celebrity or wear the latest trends fresh from the catwalk buy the same pieces  asthe most fashionable influencer. The firs scandal in the clothing industry was Nike in 1996, which had its balloons made by children in Pakistan who paid pennies an hour. Then in 2013, the world assisted to another shocking moment, when the  Rana  Plaza clothing manufacturing complex in Bangladesh collapsed,  killing over 1,000  workers. That’s when consumers started questioning fast fashion and wondering what was the true cost of those $5 t-shirts. You might already be aware of fast fashion’s dark side, but it’s worth exploring how the industry got to this point, and after that, a lot of Chinese manufacturers were exposed to the public​ What is fast fashion?​

Fast fashion is a segment of the clothing industry that is characterized by the very rapid renewal of clothes offered for sale, several times a season, or even several times a  month. Clothing is produced in relatively small series and stocks are rarely renewed. These clothes are thus intended to be worn for a short period and to be sold at a  sufficiently low cost so that customers are strongly encouraged to renew their wardrobe very frequently and not to postpone their act of purchase.  pending end-of-season sales​ How did fast fashion happen?​ To understand how fast fashion came to be, we need to rewind a tiny bit.  Before the 1800s, fashion was slow. You had to source your materials like wool or leather, prepare them, weave them, and then make the clothes.​ ​ The Industrial Revolution introduced new technology just like the sewing machine. Clothes became easier,  quicker,  and cheaper to ake.  Dressmaking shops emerged to cater to the middle classes.​ A lot of these dressmaking shops used teams of garment workers or home workers. It was around this time that sweatshops emerged, along with some familiar safety issues. The first major garment factory disaster was when the fire broke out in New York’s  Triangle Shirtwaist  Factory in  1911.  It claimed the lives of 146 garment workers, many of whom were young, female immigrants.​ By the 1960s and 70s, young people were creating new trends and clothing became a form of personal expression,  but there was still a  distinction between high fashion and high street.​ In the late  1990s  and  2000s, low-cost fashion reached its zenith. Online shopping took off, and fast-fashion retailers came to Asian countries and sometimes manufactured in Africa, and Topshop took over the high street. These brands took the looks and design elements from the top fashion houses and reproduced them quickly and cheaply.  With everyone now able to shop for on-trend clothes whenever they wanted,  it’s easy to understand how the phenomenon caught on.​How to encart  a fast fashion brand​ lot of ads lot of fake description and pretending that the  brands are not part of  the​ fast-fashion  crime some  key  factors are common  to  fast fashion brands:​

  • Thousands of styles, which touch on all the latest trends.​
  • Extremely short turnaround time between when a trend or garment is seen on the​ catwalk, or in celebrity media, and when it hits the shelves.​
  • Offshore manufacturing where labour is the cheapest, with the use of workers on​

low wages without adequate rights or safety, as well as complex supply chains​ with poor visibility beyond the first tier and of subcontracting.​

  • A limited quantity of a particular garment. With new stock arriving in store every​

few days, shoppers know if they don’t buy something they like they’ll probably​ miss their chance.​

  • Cheap, low-quality materials, where clothes degrade after just a few wears and​ get thrown away.​ 
  • Copy the other brand designs especially the luxury one and reproduce a similar​ dupe.​

What’s the impact of fast fashion?​ Fast fashion’s impact some key factors are ut even  “natural fabrics” can be a problem at the scale fast fashion demands. Conventional cotton requires enormous quantities of water and pesticides in developing c countries.  This results in risks of drought and creates huge amounts of stress on water basins, as well as competition for resources between companies and local communities.​The constant speed and demand mean there is also increasing stress on other environmental concerns such as land clearing,  biodiversity,  and soil quality. The processing of leather also impacts the environment, with  300kgs of chemicals being added for every 900kg of animal hides tanned.​ The speed at which garments are produced also means that more and more clothes are disposed of by consumers,  creating a  huge amount of textile waste. In Australia alone, more than  500  million kilos of unwanted clothing ends up in landfill every year.​ As well as the environmental cost of fast fashion, there’s a human cost.​Fast fashion impacts garment workers who have been found to work in dangerous environments,  for low wages,  and without basic human rights.  Further down the supply chain, there are the farmers who may work with toxic chemicals that can have devastating impacts on their physical and mental health,  a lot of countries had open this topic ​ Animals are also impacted by fast fashion, by the toxic that hat is released in waterways and the microfibres that are often ingested by ocean life. 

When animal products such as leather and fur are used, animal welfare is put at risk. Numerous scandals reveal that real fur, including cat and dog fur,  is often being passed off as faux fur to unknowing shoppers. The truth is that there is so much real fur being produced under terrible conditions in fur farms, that it’s become cheaper to produce and buy than faux fur!​ Fast fashion and pollution on numbers :​

1.6 MILLION KM2, THE SIZE OF THE LARGEST VORTEX OF WASTE​ It's a plastic dump that floats between Japan and the United States. This vortex of waste represents 1.6 million km 2, or about three times the surface of France. According to a study published in the journal  Scientific  Reports, it is made up of 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste.​89 BILLION PLASTIC  BOTTLES SOLD​​ Every year, no less than 89 billion plastic bottles of water are sold worldwide, or 2,822 litres of water bottled every second, according to Planetoscope.​

99% OF MARINE ANIMALS WILL HAVE INGESTED PLASTIC BY 2050​ Seabirds plastic danger albatross Almost all albatrosses, penguins, seagulls and other seabirds will be affected by plastic pollution within 30 years, concludes a study published in 2015 by the  Australian  National  Agency for  Science.  In the early 1960s, only 5% of seabirds were affected by this scourge.​ 11,000 PLASTIC MICROPARTICLES IN THE BODY​ A study published in January 2017 by the University of Ghent in Belgium, showed that consumers of marine products ingested up to11,000 microparticles of plastic each year. Up to 1% of these microparticles are absorbed by the human body.​ 5,000 BILLION PLASTIC BAGS​ according to the UN,  around 5,000 billion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year or almost  10 million per minute. "If they were tied together,  they could circle the planet seven times every hour," the organization calculates. ​26% OF PLASTIC PACKAGING IS RECYCLED​ Only 26%  of plastic packaging is recycled, according to data from the eco-organization  Citéo.  Almost half is recovered and produces energy when 25% goes to landfill. A situation that has worsened since China raised its conditions for important  European waste. 

​ 10.1 TONS OF PLASTIC EACH SECOND​ Every second,10.1 tonnes of plastic are produced around the world. Plastic has become the most manufactured material behind cement and steel.Since 1950,6.3 billion plastic waste has accumulated on the planet.​ 1.5 MILLION ANIMALS  KILLED  BY PLASTIC EACH YEAR​. Dead plastic ocean whale a sperm whale washed up on a beach in Spain, dead after ingesting  29 kg of plastic waste.  It is the very symbol of plastic damage to animals. According to the French  Development Research Institute (IRD), 1.5 million animals die each year from this pollution.​ 12,000 PLASTIC MICROPARTICLES PER LITER OF WATER IN THE ARCTIC​ By melting ice floe samples taken in the arctic zone, German researchers discovered as many as 12,000 plastic microparticles in a single litre of water.  17 kinds of plastics were trapped in the ice,  transported by sea currents from the North Pacific vortex.​A BILLION NON-RECYCLABLE STRAWS THROWN EVERY DAY​ The straws, a single-use object, are used for a handful of minutes then thrown in the trash cans to end up at the bottom of the ocean. A billion would thus be thrown every day in the world, including nearly 9 million in France alone in fast food.The  European Union has decided to ban them from 2021.​Finally, fast fashion can impact consumers themselves, encouraging the “throw-away” culture because of both the built-in obsolescence of the products and the speed at which trends are produced. Fast fashion makes us believe we need to shop more and more to stay on top of trends,  creating a constant sense of need and ultimate dissatisfaction.  The trend has also been criticised on intellectual property grounds, with some designers alleging that their designs have been illegally mass-produced by retailers.​​ Is fast fashion going green?​ As an increasing number of consumers call out the true cost of the fashion industry, and especially fast fashion,  we’ve seen a  growing number of retailers introduce sustainable and ethical fashion initiatives such as in-store recycling schemes. These schemes allow customers to drop off unwanted items in “bins” in the brands’ stores. But it’s been highlighted that only  0.1% of all clothing collected by charities and take-back programs is recycled into the new textile fibre.​The real issue with fast fashion is the speed at which it is produced, putting huge pressure on people and the environment.  Recycling and small eco or vegan clothing ranges are not enough to counter the “throw-away culture”, the waste, the strain on natural resources,  and the myriad of other issues created by fast fashion.  The whole system needs to be changed.​ Greenwashing, also known as greening, is a marketing or public relations process used by an organization  (company, national or territorial public administration, etc.) to​ ​give itself a false image of ecological responsibility.  Most of the time, the expenditures made relate more to advertising than to actual actions in favour of the environment and sustainable development.  A lot of the most famous fast-fashion brands are starting a greenwashing action that makes people buy more and the situation never gets improved.​ Is fast fashion in decline?​ We are starting to see some changes in the fashion industry. The anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse is now Fashion Revolution Week,  where people all over the world ask “Who Made My Clothes?”.  The Fashion Revolution declares that “we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet”.​ Millennials, the drivers of the future economy,  may have not been catching the fast fashion bug.  Some have argued that this generation has“grown too clever for mindless consumerism, forcing producers to become more ethical,  more inclusive, and more liberal”.​There is also a growing interest in moving to a more circular model of textile production, reusing materials wherever and whenever possible.  In 2018 both Vogue Australia and Elle UK have dedicated entire issues of their magazines to sustainable fashion, a trend being taken up each year by more and more big names.​ So do you think you know who made your fast fashion close! Is it an employee or a slaver is he free to say NO or not?​ The mind rewards system and Fast-fashion :​ The mind rewards is This system of "rewards" is essential for survival, because it provides the motivation necessary for carrying out appropriate  actions or behaviours, allowing the individual and the species to be preserved  the responsible part in the mind is stimulated when the person  gets the reward, From the marshmallow test we can conclude that up to 80% of the people are more into actions that provide quick reword,  but what is the relation between the mind reword and the fast fashion,  as we all know the slow fashion items are more expensive than the fast-fashion items especially hand made, or made of developed recyclable products so this kind  of purchases demand more saving more time to can buy  it and more time to have a new collection by the brand and sometimes extra time to receive  your products if it green shipping at the opposite the Fast fashion brand create,  promote and deliver more often so the person will have a short rewarding cycle what make him moire addict to this kind of buying​ ​What can we do?​ For our part, At Contre-Allée we promote a different way of consuming with ethical chose that can be used for a very long time and we are trying to develop more ethical raw material, And our next product will be vegan  ( stay tuned )​ We need to decide and chose other things, and choosing an eco-friendly fabric is complex as there are pros and cons to all fibre types,  but there are materials that can be trusted such as denim, linen,  cotton and more.​ Don’t forget to donate your used clothes!​ If your clothes are relatively clean, give them away instead of throwing them away. This will allow you to reuse your old clothes and ensure they don't end up in a landfill, where they could accumulate for hundreds of years.​Many organizations accept donations of second-hand clothing,  If you need a suggestion from  Contre-Allée please don’t hesitate to talk to us in private we can share with you some association that we already work with or we know due to our​ Even torn fabrics or pieces of clothing can be donated instead of thrown away.

You can find out about textile donation or recycling centres in your area to find where to drop them off.​ 

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