As you all will have probably seen the Amazon rainforest has been on fire for many weeks and you will have probably seen basically everyone posting something on their story about it.
While I think it’s amazing that people seem to care because the Amazon plays a very important role to the planet, absorbing all that CO2, I have some issues. It’s when these people also buy from fast fashion brands and are continuously buying clothes every week because that is so harmful to the environment but people don’t realise. In some ways it feels hypocritical. So I am here to help. Today I am going to tell you all the reasons why fast fashion is bad for the environment.
So grab a cuppa and some biscuits.
What many people may not realise is that most clothing nowadays is made from plastic, from materials like polyester and acrylic because it’s so versatile. Additionally it’s also lightweight, soft, strong and overall is cost-effective for brands to use because all they care about is profit.
So they basically contain thousands and thousands of tiny tiny plastic fibres that are hard to see which is why you probably don’t realise that they are constantly being shed from your clothing all day everyday.
One of the biggest issues is when they are washed because even more of these fibres are shed. Washing machines do contain a piece of mesh that does collect some fibres and dirt however these plastic fibres are so small that they go straight through and end up in places like sewage treatment factories. However this still does not stop them all and once they end up in the ocean they can’t be removed.
When you think of plastic in the ocean, most people probably think about actual plastic bottles and containers just bobbing about on the surface, when in fact it is mostly these fibres which are very hard to see but accumulate together.
These micro plastics aren’t just found in the oceans but are found everywhere! Apparently there is no research to say that they are harmful to humans, yet, because we do ingest them but they are toxic to many wildlife creatures. And you also have many pieces of plastic in oceans that do kill animals such a straws.
In the oceans, all the marine life eat these fibres which means they pass up through the food chain until eventually they get to us, which means we are also eating plastic when we eat fish. They can sometimes cause small fish to die because they are eating them but they are not giving them any nutritional value which means there would be less fish for the bigger fish to eat. Hope that this makes sense.
Thankfully there are some solutions to this problem! Instead of buying disposable fashion we should instead buy clothing that is going to last us longer. This is because the more clothing we buy then the more plastic is being released into the environment and the chances are your not even going to wear most of those clothes more than a couple of times. It’s a waste.
Cheap clothing doesn’t last long so invest your money into something that is better quality that you know will last more than a couple of wears. Additionally try and buy clothing that is made from organic cotton, which is very readily available nowadays, and shop from sustainable brands. This doesn’t have to be that much more expensive. Think of how much money you would save if you bought less clothing. Or just spend the same amount just on fewer, but better quality pieces of clothing.
Fashion shouldn’t come at a price and I don’t think that anyone really thinks of the price when they buy something. As the Extinction Rebellion group say: “There is no fashion on a dead planet” and they’re not wrong.
So without really realising it, just by washing our clothes we are contributing to the fast growing plastic problem. Therefore a simple solution is to wash your clothes less. Only wash them when they really really really need it. You may think it’s gross but it’s not really.
All those pieces of plastic fibres are going to take hundreds and hundreds of years to degrade so lets try and minimise how many more fibres we are adding to them.
I do really hope that this opens your eyes to all the negative affects of fast fashion, and don’t worry there will be many more like this in the future. This is only the surface of all of the problems, there are many many more. Trust me.