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Day 11: What’s Wrong With Fast Fashion?

Just about everything.

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Hi there, challengers!

Ever make an online clothing purchase or stock up for the season at stores like Zara and H&M? We’ve all done it, but what most of us don’t realize when we’re loading up on trendy new threads is that fast fashion has a huge waste problem and is quickly creating an environmental crisis.

Here are the facts: The fashion industry is the third most polluting industry in the world after oil and agriculture. 92 million tons of textile waste are created each year, worldwide. By 2030, we are expected to discard more than 134 million tons of textiles per year. 95% of these textiles could be reused and recycled, but the prevalent fast fashion industry spends over 500 billion dollars each year (!) to ensure that this isn’t encouraged. Fast fashion wastes water, resources and contributes more garbage into landfills.

Instead of remaining a disposable culture when it comes to the clothes we buy and hardly even wear, today on day 11 of the Green14 challenge, I’m asking you to rethink your fashion choices to live more sustainably. This can be committing to buying secondhand or vintage clothing, actually learning repair skills like sewing and stitching fabric and committing to not buying brand new clothes or drastically reducing the fast fashion you buy in the future.

If you want to look great but also know you’d only wear an item once or twice, consider clothing rental apps and stores where you can rent garments and accessories for a night out.

If you need something new you can’t find secondhand, splurge on something you’ll cherish and that will hold up for decades and better yet, can be passed down to younger generations. Think high-quality and timeless when adding garments to your wardrobe. Throwing out seldomly-worn or seasonal clothing is one of the biggest threats to the climate crisis, and with a little creativity we can do so much better.

Click here to watch an educational video about the fast fashion industry and clever solutions and workarounds by Sedona Christina, a low-waste sustainability advocate and speaker.

Want to take this part of the challenge to the next level? Consider taking the Remake 90-day Challenge after the Green14 challenge and don’t buy any new clothes for the next 90 days.