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What is Fast-Fashion and Why should Consumers Care? by City Tech Blogger Timothy Medina

Climate change has been a topic readily shared between different communities for many years. We as the people who inhabit the earth, have come across a climate change conversation at least once. But, how come we do not want to talk about it collectively? In our coffee shops, our homes, our schools and even in the parks? There is some that say, no proof shows the existence of climate change, while some say there is proof that climate change exists. Even if climate change exists or not, we as consumers should be mindful of what we purchase. Maybe the reason why climate change isn’t really a topic because some writers or researchers have used the data to point out problems and people are tired of hearing about problems. Everybody has problems, so why should any of us care about something we do not see?

Instead of pointing blame at the number of gases being put into the atmosphere by specific companies, we as consumers should ask ourselves, “why am I purchasing this?” Now there are things here on earth, that as a modern society just simply “needs.” But there is choice to how much is really “needed.” Currently there are two leading influences impacting green house gases today, oil and fast-fashion. In a nut shell, green house gases are gases that create an imbalance in our atmosphere. Our atmosphere’s main job is to protect us from the sun’s rays of light and provide our whole earth, with the right mixtures of gases for providing life at all corners of the earth. Introducing the atmosphere to gases cause an unbalance, this unbalance than impacts cycles on earth because earth has an atmosphere and this breath is life. Without heavy numbers involved, just as a thought, if the breath of life is tampered with than everything that breaths gets impacted too.

Now oil, is something we as modern society believe we need, from experience, oil does play a large role in everyday life but currently there are people out there who are discovering cleaner alternatives. Many do not know what fast-fashion is or how it impacts our environment. Fast-fashion is when manufacturers continuously produce garments at a fact pace, resulting in a large usage of water approximately 2,700 liters per single t-shirt and raw materials. The raw materials are manmade or natural textiles made of thin threads created into garment pieces by either knitting, weaving or felting. Companies like Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, Forever 21, and Topshop are considered fast-fashion companies and globally hold a large influence on the $3 trillion revenue. For many, fast-fashion is easily accessible not only because of mass production but because “fashion forward” designs that were once on runway are available at a cheaper price. These cheaper prices may be good for a consumer’s pockets but, fast-fashion also causes large companies to over produce. Over production has led manufactures to create textile patterns made up of multiple thin threads, resulting in garments made up of complex synthetic patterns. Synthetic garments are composed from manmade chemicals versus plate base threads such as cotton, and animal threads made by alpaca. Chemicals can be combined to create threads of nylon by meters, for mass production. Although the process helps produce fast fashion these complex threads in combination makes recycling difficult because of the many thread patterns used to create garments. With large production of synthetic threads such as polyester made from petroleum, and some vegan leathers really formed from plastic, the fast-fashion industry has a heavy influence on our wardrobe.

The oil industry holds first place in gases emission to our atmosphere, followed by fast-fashion holding second place because of greenhouses gases impacting our atmosphere and earth’s breath of life. Our atmosphere’s mixture of gases that sustain lifeforms on earth shouldn’t be tampered with, but with modern society’s need from production, our dollar can lead towards more greener decisions.  We as consumers have ability to choose if fast-fashion is available to the market or not and or its production. Instead of purchasing clothes frequently, a different choice can be made to possibly reduce the amount fast-fashion delivers to the marketplace. Our dollar can either say yes or no to production. For reducing harmful production, we as the consumer should try and have mindfulness when making choices with our money. Campaigns promoting the reduction of greenhouse gases, isn’t just about everybody saying no don’t buy this or that. The reduction of greenhouse gases starts with each consumer on this planet earth having mindfulness what they support and would like to continue in their economy. Fast-fashion has room to change their production methods, could possibly make biodegradable fashion that can be recycled. Instead of making garments with complex patterns that create difficulty when wanting to recycle and result in being burned instead, manufacturers can make better decisions. As a collective whole, our awareness can lead to the support of a business that puts out what we are interested in purchasing with our dollar, can dramatically change the marketplace. $3 trillion comes from somewhere, we as the consumers are the somewhere. Our will to choose can indeed influence what is being put for market. Greener choices that reduce purchasing synthetic garments, not throwing away old clothes, and shopping when only needed could reduce greenhouse gas emission. Let us attempt to change our atmosphere together. Let us work towards making better choices in our wardrobe. Let us tell our fashion advisors to create better garments that are eco-friendly. We as the consumer not only have a voice but our actions speak louder. Why put on clothes that can be harmful to the air we breathe? But, also why buy so many garments that eventually we may choose to throw away? Why throw away clothes when we can donate clothes? Why buy new, when we can remind vintage? Together we can save ourselves a few dollars with mindful shopping habits but also together we can collectively change the marketplace by the choice we make. We can do this!



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