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Fast Fashion and Environmental Sustainability: Do They Jive?

Today, the clothing trend changes at an unprecedented rate – the fashion industry is a super-fast one. Unfortunately, the business model of fast fashion works completely against the increasingly discussed need for sustainability.

Environmental sustainability is unarguably one of the most discussed subject matters regarding the survival of humankind. The lack of stability and predictability in climate is a huge concern to all stakeholders. This has led to a call to go as green as possible. The fashion industry contributes hugely to the environmental issues facing planet earth; second only to the oil industry in terms of dangerous emissions.

Recent research by Betway revealed that about 3.2 billion tons of carbon emissions were produced by the fashion industry in 2018. The use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels is a major sustainability problem. Examples of such resources are synthetic polymers. Materials like polyester need about 200 years to decompose, interfering with key variables in the environment.

To promote environmental sustainability, fashion giants are leading the way in removing non-renewable resources from their production process. For example, recycled polyester is used for all of their products, and up to 99 percent of their dye water is recycled. Others such as Zara stated their commitment to using 100% sustainable fabrics for their products by 2025. These figures are as reported by Betway.

Not just fashion brands have made moves toward clothing sustainability. LG, one of the biggest electronics brands, launched an initiative that will see people wear their clothes longer hence reducing waste. They stated that access to the right tools, e.g. appliances, can significantly improve the longevity of clothes. LG also sought to increase awareness among people concerning the need to pay attention to the environmental impacts of the fashion industry.

Though private companies are taking laudable responsibilities in the fight for sustainability, the government needs to set clear standards regarding what’s permitted and monitor the activities of companies closely. This is very important in developing countries where companies seem to neglect the obvious problems hence failing to take responsibility towards ensuring environmental sustainability.

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