High Cost, Cheap Clothes

February 23, 2018
By Anonymous

Fashion is a constantly changing industry, gaining billions of dollars in profit at the cost of the environment. All clothing is made up of dyes and chemicals that are harmful to the earth. Each piece of clothing has its own toxic effects on the earth. The term ”fast fashion” refers to fashion industries built on trendy, cheap clothes that are poorly made. New clothes are stocked in stores for consumers to buy and soon throw out when it is no longer valuable. As that cycle continues, clothing disposal cooperates to the overbearing culture of waste.

In order to constitute change to benefit the environment, global awareness should be brought to ways to support sustainable fashion. Consumers should be educated on the steps they can take in order to diminish the amount of waste produced.

Despite the amount of waste being introduced daily, there is a way to help recycle and reduce trash. What we can do to combat the problem of fast fashion is to be aware of what we are buying. The first step towards a more sustainable wardrobe is to not follow quick trends, instead of saving money with cheaply made clothes from brands like Forever 21, Zara, and H&M. Rather, one can invest in clothes that will last the wear and stay trendy. Another step that can be taken is to check the tags on our clothing and look for natural materials such as organic cotton, wool, silk, and linen. Using non synthetic materials decreases the amount of non decomposable waste. However, as simple as these tasks seem, there is a large population of people who are stubborn to switch their routines. Some do not want to partake in buying second hand clothing because of how it isn’t ‘sanitary’, and some just have bad habits. Convenience is a large part of our culture, making the public adamant on change. However, there are easy and beneficial ways to recycle instead of throwing away or donating clothing.

Many turn a blind eye to recycling when it doesn’t bring profit, but there are many online tools and trade shops that give money to those looking to gain while removing clutter. I have personally indulged in selling online. There are apps such as Depop, Mercari, Poshmark, and Ebay that make selling as easy as pressing a button. I originally pursued this practice because I needed to get rid of my clothes, but they were too expensive to just toss. Eventually, my clothing has brought me around $2,000 within a span of a year. Despite it just being excess clothing I had no need for. This shows that anyone is capable to help the environment and help themselves. 
Now, how important is this to the average person? Strangely enough not many people know the severity of the textile waste that infests earth. There is on average “2 million tons of waste, [emitted] 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, and [...] 70 million tons of water [wasted]” solely by improper disposal of clothing. By spreading awareness to others on the effects of their actions and the minor things they can do to help little by little.
In order to meet these desired goals there must be marketing projects geared towards the general public. There is still plenty of stigma on secondhand clothing, but by displaying its benefits to skeptics, some may decide to try it out. This required people to have open minds and not close off for superficial reasons. It is important to recycle, and by benefitting these sorts of organizations people are preventing more trash from going into the environment.

Our planet is gradually becoming more polluted each day due to carelessness of people. It's important to give back to Earth in order to insure safety for future generations. If at least a portion contributes through these sorts of means, there can be a big difference in our environment.

The author's comments:

I wrote this piece in order to provide insight on what a seemingly harmless industry actually causes to our earth.

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