What is wrong with the fashion industry nowdays?
For many years, the fashion business has been under critics for the issues it causes. Due to poor regulations, overproduction to avoid empty inventory, large carbon footprint, water contamination, and much more, industries are coming apart and killing many people. The list keeps going on.
1. Producing clothes
In most cases, our clothing manufacturing takes place in developing nations. Wages are low, materials are cheaper, and there are fewer rules. Many examples of water pollution, environmental degradation, exploitation, and unsafe working conditions result from lax legislation.
Endanger the local ecology and the livelihoods of those employed in the industry.
It’s all because it’s cheaper, plain and simple. Yes, being inexpensive has its drawbacks, but it also makes it possible to manufacture clothing for a fraction of the price in a developed country. Producing garments on the other side of the world, shipping them by boat, and transporting them by vehicle is less expensive than making them locally in industrialized countries.
2. Clothes consumption
Clothing must get sold once it has been manufactured and delivered to stores and warehouses in developed countries. Selling clothes equals more money. As a result, companies want us to buy more items.
Creating new collections and showering us with ads is how they achieve this goal. A new group renders the previous one “out of fashion.” Previously, designers created haute couture collections once a year, then four times a year (per season), and now seven times a year. Some companies even release 52 exhibitions every year (weekly!).
Fast fashion is the term used to call it. They create new trends, produce great advertisements, and regularly recruit prominent actors/influencers/models to get you to buy more stuff.
As a result, people do not replace clothes because of damage, no usage, or have gotten much better; they replace them because they look outdated.
Did you know that: The average consumer buys 60% more clothes and holds them for about half as long as they did 15 years ago. Mckinsey & Company is the source for this information.
3. Disposing of the clothes
Because of these new collections, we must change our garments frequently with newer, more fashionable ones. They get thrown out while they still work correctly, and there is nothing seriously wrong with them. Nowadays, there are many “Clothing Donation Boxes.” Those are the boxes where you can drop off unwanted clothing to get recycled or reused. But is that true? Let’s take a look at those two possibilities.
Reusing clothing is an excellent way to extend its useful life. However, many secondhand retailers in the developed world have an oversupply of clothing; they get more than they can sell.
Quality apparel gets stored, while low-quality clothing gets sold back to developing countries like Ghana and India, where they can sell them at local markets. Our giving resembles more of dumping undesirable things (such as plastic), and as a result, local enterprises die away, making it harder to build an autonomous local economy. In other words, this dynamic benefits relatively few people on the other side of the world.
The cruel reality is that very little of our clothing gets recycled. Because those are from various materials like Polyester, cotton, viscose, wool, etc., they’re all tossed together.
On top of that, a single piece of clothing may have various fabrics. A sweater, for example, could be made up of 80% cotton, 10% polyester, and 10% viscose. It makes recycling complicated.