The danger of buying from fast fashion brands – Northern Star


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Avoiding the top fast fashion brands like SHEIN or Fashion Nova can be a good start to reducing global carbon emissions.

The textile and clothing industry is responsible for approximately 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To put that into perspective, the fashion industry is emitting roughly the same amount of carbon emissions as the economies of France, Germany and the UK combined, according to a Global Fashion Agenda report.

“There are billions of pounds of clothes that are wasted and dumped into the ocean along with plastic and microplastic pollution,” said Kristen Chung, a junior fashion merchandising major. “Most people don’t think about where their clothes come from or if it’s made from recyclable materials and they should.”

Avoiding fast fashion is at the top of the list to reduce carbon emissions. Fast fashion is when fashion brands produce clothes en masse in a short time by paying their workers a low price. Fashion brands like SHEIN, Fashion Nova and Zara push their workers to produce clothes at a rapid pace so they can sell their products at a low price to consumers, he says Green America.

Fast fashion brands rely heavily on the latest trends and social media to cater to younger audiences such as teenagers and young adults. SHEIN is one of the biggest and most unethical fast fashion brands out there today. Since their company is primarily online, with a couple of stores in the US and Canada, SHEIN produces the newest and hottest styles getting quick feedback.

SHEIN is one of several fast fashion companies using synthetic fibers such as polyester, silk and nylon to produce clothing at a more affordable price point. The problem with these fabrics is that they are made from fossil fuels, causing retail manufacturers to contribute to the ever-growing problem of climate change. To work towards a more sustainable future, fashion companies and consumers must do their part to reduce their carbon footprint.

People may be attracted to these fast fashion brands, but due to the cheap fabrics, they can only wear the garments for a short time. Since consumers can only get a few uses out of clothing, they end up coming back to the site, buying more, and in turn, fast fashion brands keep getting more money and growing, according to a item by the Carbon Literacy Project.

Being aware of your wardrobe and consuming less is the first step towards having a positive impact on the environment.

Consumers can avoid fast fashion by buying from second hand, vintage and thrift stores. These sustainable solutions are ecological and economical. Thanks to the Internet, second-hand online stores, such as Poshmark And Download, are an alternative to buying new clothes. Swapping your clothes instead of throwing them in landfills and buying more reduces the number of greenhouse gases that are released into the air.

“Students can shop at thrift stores like Goodwill or other local stores in downtown DeKalb like Cracker Jax and support local businesses,” Chung said.

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