Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion Void – Digital Drawing

What is fast fashion?

Wikipedia definition: Fast fashion is a contemporary term used by fashion retailers for designs that move from the catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends.  Fast fashion clothing collections are based on the most recent fashion trends presented at Fashion Week in both the spring and autumn of every year.

Unfortunately the fleeting and mass produced nature of fast fashion has many negative environmental impacts. Companies strive for turning over the maximum profit above considering ethical production. Its not just Boohoo that essentially use modern slavery, many brands like H&M and Zara now have “Sustainable” clothing lines that they seem to use as a distraction from the damage they are responsible for.

It is often the case that companies outsource their production to garment workers who don’t make a fair living wage. They do this for inexpensive production of clothing that is usually short lived and made by people having to put up with poor working conditions for a much less then fair wage.

Click image for @venetialamanna Instagram

The facts:

Over 100 billion items of clothing are made per year, for a global population of only 7.7 billion.

30% of fast fashion is never sold. It goes straight to waste.

Fast fashion produces 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse emissions annually. This scale of production is not sustainable, it is harming people and the planet.

Fast fashion is responsible for 92 million tons of waste dumped in landfills every year.

It is the second largest polluter after the oil industry!

Some Alternatives To Fast Fashion:

The best alternative is not to buy new clothing at all, but to look after the clothes you already own so you can continue to wear those, mending items if you can. @venetialamanna on Instagram is a great source of inspiration for “OOTDs” (old outfit of the day).

Clothing swap shops! These come in the form of pop up events and less temporary shops. You just take a bunch of clothing you no longer wear and swap them out for second hand items that are new to you! Swap shops are often free or require only a small (sometimes optional) donation to charity. Try searching for clothing swap shop events near you on Facebook.

Depop. This is one of my favourite apps, there is no shortage of beautiful vintage pieces, affordable second hand staples and small business that are more likely to truly prioritise sustainability compared to any high street brand that claims to have a sustainable fashion line. Search for any kind of piece you’re after and you are bound to find it on Depop. You can also sell your old clothing on Depop very easily, no need for it to end up in landfill! Check out some of my favourite Depop sellers: @janettojo , @susamusa , @micromall , @selenasshop , @5thseason

Charity Shops. If you have a restricted budget charity shops are a fantastic resource for fairly priced second hand items. They are often great for basic clothing items, but if you dig a little you can definitely find some gems. If you are shopping at charity shops be aware that often the clothing in them can be the only option for people with little money. So be mindful, don’t forget to donate your own preloaded items and avoid using them too regularly, they are not to be viewed as cheap versions of vintage shops.

Vintage. Vintage shops come in a wide range of the reasonably priced to the very pricey. They can be found online and on high streets, so are easily accessible. I would recommend looking in vintage shops if you’re searching for occasion clothing, you never know what they might have.

Coronavirus and the Environment

It’s Not F*cked – stitched fabric piece

This piece “It’s Not F*cked” is a simple statement of my opinion that with a combined effort we can make a positive impact on the climate crisis. It is a response to anyone that doesn’t see the point in making an effort against environmental issues because “we’re already too far” gone or (as I often hear as an excuse), “we’re already fucked”.

It’s not Fucked is a sentiment that can also be reassuring in times like this pandemic. It’s a simple, playful reminder that we will get through it.

Is there an upside to the current pandemic situation? It seems that lockdown has its environmental benefits in the forms of cleaner rivers, bluer skies, plummeting drops in traffic and pollution levels etc.

“People need to realise that if we control and cut down boat traffic in Venice and its lagoon then we could all discover a unique biosphere.” A quote from Matteo Bisol who runs Venissa a restaurant on the tiny lagoon island of Mazzorb, he has been campaigning for a more eco-responsible, sustainable model of tourism in Venice.

Apparently the clearer waters in Venice are due to the lack of boats, so there is much less disruption on the muddy floor of the canal causing less sediment to rise up. The amount of tourism in Venice (and many other places in the world) is already showing the resilience of nature. It did not disappear, but with less human interruption it will come back and thrive in places where we are usually dominant.

With all of this in mind and the current reliance on science, I wonder…

Why aren’t we treating climate change like an infectious disease?

We are experiencing a pandemic, which means numerous countries on lockdown, experts all over the world working on covid-19. The majority of people are relying on scientists for solutions and guidance. But when it comes to climate change and environmental issues there are more mixed beliefs. People can be very sceptical of the facts around climate concerns, maybe because they often sound so doom and gloom. We need to listen to environmental experts and not be deterred by alarming information in order to make positive changes. We must not be put off by the scale of the issue and always strive to make sustainable choices.

This excerpt is from an article publish on March 5th 2020, shedding some light on how pollution impacts our health.

The Guardian

It is obvious why Coronavirus has to be treated with such urgency. But it is important to recognise that the climate breakdown also poses imminent danger, the effects of which are being felt in many countries already (wildfires, extreme weather, flooding…). The reason that many people disregard environmental issues is that they fail to make a connection between the cause and the consequences. People view the consequences of climate change as something that will happen in the far flung future.

To sum up:

‘Urgent action to prevent a pandemic is of course necessary and pressing. But the climate crisis represents a far graver and deadlier existential threat, and yet the same sense of urgency is absent. Coronavirus shows it can be done – but it needs determination and willpower, which, when it comes to the future of our planet, are desperately lacking.’ (From the above article, Jones, 2020)