The fashion industry is out of control – the rise of discounts, disposables and the “throw away” mentality

The fashion industry is out of control – the rise of discounts, disposables and the “throw away” mentality

June 8, 2018 Zero waste 0

The fashion industry is out of control – clothes in the 21st century are designed with disposability in mind, making consumers feel obliged to keep up with the “latest trends”. It’s no wonder that the fashion industry is copping flack from humanitarians over fast fashion and its excessive waste it creates and the impact it has on the environment and it’s “throw away’ mentality, resulting in it being a large contributor to landfill.

The fashion industry is second most polluting industry, second only to oil.

What is the meaning of “fast fashion”?
Fast fashion is a term that is commonly used by fashion retail with the philosophy of quick manufacturing at an affordable price.

Some facts about fast fashion – DID YOU KNOW:

  • The average Australian woman wears only ONE THIRD of what’s in her wardrobe
  • Global menswear sales have increased by 70% in 16 years
  • 80 billion pieces of clothing end up going to landfill EVERY YEAR
  • Oxfam says that approximately 9513 garments in Britain are thrown into landfill EVERY FIVE MINUTES!
  • Most waste is not bio degradable, meaning it sits in landfill for 200 years or more
  • In Tokyo, men can buy suits from vending machines!!
  • The Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh resulted in 1134 deaths and approx. 2,500 non-fatal injuries
  • In 2013 the Savar Building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013
  • Heavy chemicals used to treat leather, such as chromium 6 affect the health, cause boils, numbness, jaundice and other skin conditions

What is the meaning of “slow fashion”?

As the shift in conscious arises, slow is becoming more and more popular and supported. In opposition to fast fashion, the slow fashion movement has risen to raise awareness for the destruction the fast fashion industry is causing for the environment, it’s workers and it’s impact on landfills.

In pursuit of learning more on this topic, I recently I stumbled across a Netflix documentary that I would strongly recommend EVERYONE watch, called “The True Cost” and it completely blew my mind.


  • Discounts aren’t really discounts
  • Clothing can contain traces of lead, chromium6, plastic and other hazardous chemicals
  • Clothes are designed with “disposability” in mind and aren’t designed to last

Throughout the stages of textile production ecosystems experience lasting environmental harm. This is due to the amount of hazardous chemicals used, carbon dioxide emissions, and the use of synthetic or inorganic materials which don’t degrade properly, meaning they sit in landfills for up to 200+ years. Source: Wikipedia


  • Research the brand you are buying- are they fair trade?
  • Support local brands
  • Buy second hand clothing


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