Fast fashion addiction has become a pervasive problem in today’s society, and it is having a serious impact on the health and well-being of all generations, specially the youngest ones. Why? This addiction to cheap, disposable clothing is not only damaging to the environment, but it is also being a host of other issues, including mental health problems and financial stress.
For many young people, fast fashion is an irresistible temptation. With its low prices and constantly changing styles, it is easy to see why so many people fall for this type of clothing. However, the reality is that fast fashion is not as cheap nor as easy as it seems.
The price of fast fashion
One of the main problems with fast fashion is that it is designed to be worn for just a few seasons, or even just a few weeks. The number of times a garment is worn has declined by around 36% in 15 years! This means that people need to constantly buy new clothes, even if they already have plenty in their wardrobe. This leads to overconsumption, which is one of the biggest problems in the fashion industry nowadays, and it can also be a cause of economic problems among people falling into this addiction.
In addition to the financial cost, fast fashion also has many other negative effects on people’s health and well-being. The clothes are usually made using cheap, low-quality materials, which won’t last, can be uncomfortable and can even be toxic to the skin.
On the psychological part, this constant pressure to have new clothes and styles can lead to issues such as anxiety and depression. Many people feel that they need to keep up with the latest trends and styles, and this can lead to anxiety and stress. They will never have it all, they will never achieve to have all the micro trends generated in a weekly basis on their wardrobe. The constant need to buy new clothes contributes to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
This is a very dangerous cycle, as many persons will link their value to the new clothes they have, and it will not end in a good way, with both depression and an empty bank account.
85% Of Our Clothes End Up In Landfills
In addition to the psychological impact on individuals, fast fashion also has numerous negative environmental effects. The production of cheap, disposable clothes requires a lot of resources, including water, energy, and chemicals. This leads to pollution, inequality and diseases among both workers and consumers.
Furthermore, the disposal of fast fashion clothing is also a problem. Most of this clothing ends up in landfills, where it takes a long time to break down and decompose. Landfills are designed to store solid waste, such as household garbage and construction debris. However, they are not built to properly dispose of clothing and its specific needs. Fashion’s landfills can release chemicals and microfibers into the environment as it decomposes through long years, causing further harm for a very long time.
Despite these problems, fast fashion continues to be a popular choice for many people. However, it is important to recognize the negative effects of this addiction and to take steps to break the cycle. There are a number of alternatives to fast fashion, such as buying second-hand clothes, investing in high-quality, sustainable fashion brands, or making your own clothes. By making these choices, people can reduce environmental impact and improve both mental and financial health.
- The Fashion Industry Waste Is Drastically Contributing To Climate Change, by Valentina Portela on Calpirg, 2021
- Putting the brakes on fast fashion, on Unep, 2018
- Why clothes are so hard to recycle, By Abigail Beall on BBC, 2020
- 10 Concerning Fast Fashion Waste Statistics, by Martina Igini on Earth, 2022
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