Join the clothing revolution and make the switch to ethical fashion.
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Fast fashion is a sector of the fashion industry that produces low quality, on-trend clothing at an incredibly fast pace. Examples include Zara, Forever 21, H&M, Topshop, and many more. The business model attracts vast quantities of consumers, especially of the younger generation. However, the speed of production under fast fashion is only matched by the speed that their products get thrown out and the amount of environmental atrocities they commit. The fashion industry has been cited as the second largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry. They are also responsible for 5% of greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the entire country of Russia. Production for clothing is heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Each year, more than 70 million barrels of oil are used to make the world’s polyester fiber. Large amounts of waste are created and disposed of in landfills or incinerators, where they are burned and more harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are released. Overall, the fast fashion industry as it is creates excessive amounts of greenhouse gases, the leading cause of climate change, with seemingly no remorse. Wouldn’t you like to know what your money is supporting? Here are some details about some of the most common fast fashion retailers. Zara, a Spanish clothing brand owned by Inditex, the world’s largest fashion retailer, provides extremely low cost and on trend clothing modeled after some of the world’s most expensive brands. Other than its atrocious labor violations, including the employment of underage Syrian refugees, the company seems to have little regard for its impact on the environment. The Changing Markets Foundation published a report finding that four factories Zara purchases from pollute local waterways through the production of viscose. For the second fast fashion brand, Forever 21, research is a little harder. It is impossible to find any solid facts about the environmental policies of Forever 21, because they are not at all transparent about internal production or environmental policies. However, the Ethical Fashion Report of 2017 gave the company a D+ rating, and they are one of the few companies to refuse to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Safety that would regulate their factories against fire hazards. While H&M has made barebones initiatives recently, such as creating a pricey line of clothing made from recycled fabrics, they have a long way to come before reaching sustainability. H&M follows the same practices as all other fast-fashion models, and it is the second largest clothing producer behind Inditex, the owner of Zara. In order to transport such mass amounts of apparel, H&M is a top fossil fuel expeditor. If you don’t like what you’ve heard so far in this video, you’re not alone. Here are some solutions to help you limit your personal contributions to the industry. Luckily, there are other options to counter the environmental malice committed by fast-fashion brands. Thrift shopping is a great way to shop sustainably, while also doing so at an affordable price. In most areas, thrift stores are easily accessible and offer a large variety of clothing options. In addition to this, online thrifting stores such as Mercari, ThredUp, and Poshmark also offer these same clothing resale services if you are unable to find a thrift store near you. You can also contribute towards clean shopping practices by donating any used clothing to these same stores. Another alternative to fast-fashion is to shop at sustainable retailers. Many brands have devoted their business to lessen the impact of the clothing industry, and these brands exist at all price levels. Some brands we suggest are Reformation, Everlane, Thought Clothing, and Alternative Apparel. The High Cost urges you to make the switch before it’s too late. To learn more about the fast-fashion industry and what you can do to stop its effects, join our clothing revolution @TheHighCost.