Trendy consumers like keeping their wardrobes in-style and current, but what does this mean for the environment? “Fast fashion” is a term that refers to inexpensive, popular fashion that takes designs from the runway and quickly produces them cheaply for consumer consumption. Through “fast fashion” global fashion brands like H&M and Zara have made cheap, popular designs accessible to millions of consumers worldwide, while also the contributing to one of the worst polluting industries globally.
As one of the dirtiest industries in the world, fashion is tied with oil at being the worst offender in increasing climate change. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the clothing industry accounts for a staggering 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes more energy than aviation and shipping combined. “Fast fashion” encourages a throw-away culture, not only due to the speed of new fashions available, but also as the apparel created is of inferior quality and often falls apart after just a few uses. In the 1980’s, the average person bought 12 new items of clothing a year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average person will now buy 68 garments annually, wearing each item a mere seven times before discarding it. Yearly we are producing over 100 billion new garments from new fibers and the planet cannot sustain that.
A shift may be occurring, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to shopping search platform Lyst, over the past year, “slow fashion” has generated 90 million social impressions suggesting the beginning of a shift in shopping behaviors.
Retailers that focus on survival alone, rather than innovation, will be challenged in the current as well as future shopping environments. As a sector, “fast fashion” does not align with the values that drive customers today – especially during pandemic lockdown. No longer is it cool to be disposable and buy fast fashion, it is also something that customers are ashamed of. Apparel that can be enjoyed time and time again is more appealing that fashions meant to be disposed of after a single time.
At LumberUnion, American cotton meets American craftsmanship in quality garments. Our organic cotton is farmed primarily in the Northern California. Our apparel is milled and manufactured in Southern California and is made with plant-based, non-toxic dyes and crafted to last, not fall apart after a few uses. We are an American clothing company that is doing the right thing for our customers and the environment.
What will you do to make the world a better place? Are you buying apparel that looks good and lasts? At LumberUnion, we are driven to create a quality, sustainable wardrobe, one garment at a time. We are the change, are you?