What is fast fashion and it’s impact on waste disposal and recycling


What is Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is an industry term that refers to the trend of mass producing and then quickly selling fashionable merchandise for a low price. Fast fashion uses readily available materials and manufacturing processes to create new designs and make them available to consumers anytime. This speed allows retailers who sell fast fashion from large chains like H&M, Primark, Forever 21, Zara, Topshop, and many others to produce products at the lowest price possible.

The impact of fast fashion on waste disposal and recycling

The Overproduction of Global Disposable Fashion

Large retailers buy the materials for these items far before the sale date before their products can be placed on their shelves. Then on the sale date, this excess inventory is sent off to countries worldwide. Often, these items will be recycled when they get to their destinations, and some will be donated. In Europe, many retailers and factories destroy clothes rather than recycle them, not just for safety but for both cost and energy reasons. It means fewer clothing recycling opportunities worldwide.

Depletion of Non-renewable Sources

The fast fashion industry makes a very short-term, one-time use of the materials in their clothing. It causes less use of the non-renewable resources that are already dwindling. It can lead to deforestation and more pollution.

Huge Amounts of Waste

Fast fashion has an enormous amount of waste in the form of clothing. It creates a lot more rubbish than there would usually be since essentially all clothes are made to be worn only a few times before they are thrown away.

Contaminating the Environment

Because of how fashion is designed and produced in mass, pollution occurs at various points in the process. Corrosion can occur from the synthetic material used to make the clothing and how it is manufactured. Since fast fashion involves so much plastic and other synthetic materials, recycling them becomes very difficult. Whilst clothes can be taken to your local waste disposal site, the long standing issue is that waste disposal companies can’t recycle most clothing.

See: Environmental Concerns of Waste Disposal

Product Life Cycle

The harsh chemicals used to make synthetic materials for fast-fashion clothing hurt the environment and potential health risks. The toxic chemicals are released in nature at points where the textiles are thrown away and in landfills.

See: The Most Difficult Materials To Recycle and How To Avoid Them

Fast fashion is an integral part of our modern society. It allows us to buy trendy new clothes quickly and inexpensively, which most people find very appealing. While it may be cheap, it’s very wasteful and dangerous, even causing problems that can affect our health. The industry needs to change to fix this and become more sustainable.