The real confession of a shopaholic

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“Don’t you have shoes just like that?”

“Yeah, but these are on sale!”

Globalisation can be directly linked to consumerism. Having every style, every colour, and every size at the end of our finger tips or a 20 minute car trip down the road has seen an increase in the consumption of clothing products, which has also seen an increase in the amount of waste created from these products. This can be categorised as “fast fashion”. This implies to a “term used by fashion retailers to describe inexpensive designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends”. (Fernando, 2018)
Read more: Fast Fashion Definition | Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fast-fashion.asp#ixzz5B64D5cXt

Fast fashion globalised companies “introduce new styles at more frequent intervals, focusing less on durable quality, and more on low costs and up to the minute designs”(Mukherjee, 2015). Fast fashion has created a “throw away” culture of ‘out-of-date’ styles or products that have not lasted the expected life-cycle(Dissanayake and Sinha, 2012). A lot of products thrown away end up in land fill which raises a whole lot of environmental implications.

The culture of fast fashion has gained attention in contemporary society due to the environmental distress the waste fashion can produce. Fashion waste is responsible for approximately 10% of the carbon foot print globally (Woodyard, 2018). Consumption patterns caused by globalisation will inevitably impact the environment. Increased demand in any product will deplete resources that have increasing value for other reasons other than meeting materialistic ‘needs’.

Video link

There are ways to reduce the amount of fashion related products wasted. Approximately 50% of textile waste can be recycled (www.nivelo.co.uk, 2018). There are two prominent ways to recycle fashion related products. The first is using materials that were ‘unwanted’ throughout the production of an item e.g. offcuts or material that would be thrown away (www.nivelo.co.uk, 2018). The second is donating clothes to second-hand shops, e.g. The Salvation Army, or handing them down to siblings if that is an option (www.nivelo.co.uk, 2018). Individuals can also purchase clothes from these points of sale, which is essentially recycling a product.

By recycling clothing and reducing waste, the physical environment benefits. Recycling will see reductions in landfill space for clothing products (About.abc.net.au, 2018). There will be reductions on the pressures natural resources are experiencing (About.abc.net.au, 2018). Lastly, there will be a reduction in  the pollution caused from fashion waste.

So next time you go to purchase something, just think: do I really NEED that? Think how your actions are contributing to a world epidemic of waste. YOU can do something about it.

http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/charities/

The above link will inform how and where you can recycle your clothes if needed.

References

About.abc.net.au. (2018). War on Waste: It’s time to step off the fashion trend-mill | About the ABC. [online] Available at: http://about.abc.net.au/war-on-waste-its-time-to-step-off-the-fashion-trend-mill/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2018].

Dissanayake, G. and Sinha, P. (2012). Sustainable Waste Management Strategies in the Fashion Industry Sector. The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, 8(1), pp.77-90.

Fernando, J. (2018). Fast Fashion. [online] Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fast-fashion.asp [Accessed 4 Apr. 2018].

Liu, B. and Zhu, H. (2017). Influence of perceived brand globalness and environmental image on consumption intentions: A case study of H&M. Dili Xuebao/Acta Geographica Sinica, 72(4), pp.699-710.

Mukherjee, S. (2015). Environmental and social impact of fashion: Towards an eco-friendly, ethical fashion. Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Research, 2(3), pp.22-35.

http://www.nivelo.co.uk, J. (2018). Recycling | Ethical Fashion Forum. [online] Ethicalfashionforum.com. Available at: http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/recycling [Accessed 3 Apr. 2018].

YouTube. (2018). Fast Fashion’s Effect on People, The Planet, & You | Patrick Woodyard | TEDxUniversityofMississippi. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPM9lhackHw [Accessed 1 Apr. 2018].

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3 thoughts on “The real confession of a shopaholic

  1. This is such an important subject. While I was unfamiliar with the term ‘fast fashion’ I have been investigating ethical fashion as part of my own shopping habit. Patrick Woodyard’s TEDx talk was riveting, so much so that I immediately checked out the Nisolo website. We have no option now but to reduce waste and until we all consider this a top priority the planet will continue to deteriorate. The second important point about purchasing ethically, that of social justice and the oppression of the producers is one that, fortunately, has come more often into the public debate. However, despite the efforts of enterprises such as the Fair-trade movement global producers continue to live in poverty and their modern enslavement still underscores the privileged lives of First World consumers. The 2017 Oxfam report into the fashion industry has this to say “Women aged 18–25 make up 80% of the factory workers in the global garment industry. Their long hours of hard work have helped to
    create booming economies and large export industries for countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and China”, however the average annual wage for these women is just AUD97.

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    1. It is sad to think that the environment is very rarely put first amongst other global issues. The TEDx talk helps to put fast fashion into perspective highlighting the social justice inequities that you mentioned.
      80%!!! Wow, isn’t that terrible. I’ll be sure to look into the Oxfam report. It is statistics like those that make you wonder how the has not been a greater demand for change in the fashion industry. Is it because this injustice happens in third world countries? Out of sight, out of mind.

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