Fast Fashion: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.
Before we dive in, it should be noted that while most of our posts begin with a clear vision, some have been known to take on a life of their own. So, it’s probably worth mentioning that in the beginning, this post had nothing to do with ugly fashion practices and everything to do with our newest brand partner, GOEX, who we are so excited to feature in our Marketplace!
GOEX’s high-quality tees are designed to be better. As in, better quality for you, better manufacturing for the environment, and better working conditions and wages for the people who make them. However, to understand how GOEX is different, we needed a baseline for comparison. So, we took a closer look at the fashion industry in general, and it wasn’t just ugly. It was heartbreaking.
What is Fast Fashion?
The term fast fashion was first coined by The New York Times in 1990. The allure of fast fashion was its ability to bring clothing to consumers in just 15 days. It was a big deal: More trends, inexpensive styles, and broader accessibility—all in less time.
Fast forward to today, where production time is shorter and the staggering number of new items that drop every, single day, and you have what’s also been referred to as ultra fast fashion. However, it makes us wonder:
What’s the cost of producing even more clothes, faster and cheaper than ever?
Sadly, it’s more than many of us think. In a recent report into fast-fashion labor practices by the House, two online retail giants violate US Tariff law. Not only does this give them an unfair advantage over US retailers, but it also enables them to avoid human rights reviews. Both companies have faced allegations of human rights abuse. As of last year, the imports accounted for nearly 600,00 imports a day—and are said to be likely higher now. You can read CNBC’s full article here →
As savvy consumers, we’ve learned to shop around for the best price at the best value and understand the trade-off: you get what you pay for. However, fast fashion isn’t an investment or a timeless staple. It’s a trend that’s in today and gone tomorrow. So sure, we get what we pay for, but at what cost to the environment? And, at what cost to the people who make it?
Check out these 11 alarming statistics you may not have known.
- Companies often target countries with poor labor laws and human rights protection where labor is shockingly cheap. 85% of textile workers earn below the minimum wage, receiving 2 to 6 cents for every piece of clothing. – Project Provisions
- 93% of surveyed brands aren’t paying garment workers a living wage. – Fashion Checker
- One garbage truck of clothes is burned or landfilled every second. – World Resources Institue
- The average American throws away 81.5 lbs of clothes every year. – Earth.org
- 2.6 million tonnes of returned clothes ended up in landfills in 2020 in the US alone. – Earth.org
- Every year the fashion industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water — enough to meet the consumption needs of five million people. – World Bank
- Nearly 10% of microplastics dispersed in the ocean each year come from textiles. – Earth.org
- The fashion industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. – World Bank
- $500 billion is lost each year because of under-wearing and failure to recycle clothes. – Earth.org
- Making a pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles. – World Resources Institute
- Discarded clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years. – World Resources Institute
What if sustainable fashion isn’t in your budget?
Then, maybe it starts with spreading awareness. Maybe it starts with shopping companies that offer transparency in their supply chain. Or, maybe it starts with shopping and supporting companies that are Fair Trade Certified.
Maybe it starts with a better tee shirt.
Your shopping has the power to strengthen families, create jobs, and change lives. You can help set an example in the marketplace that ethical commerce can affect systemic, bottom-up change through the dignity of work.
GOEX specializes in creating and producing fair-trade t-shirts while offering fair-wage employment to break the cycle of poverty and empower workers within their families and communities.
Pre-Orders End Saturday, November 11th!
Get your pre-orders in before the deadline of Saturday, November 11th. Shirts are expected to ship around Monday, November 20—plenty of time for Christmas photos or gifts!