"How Fast Fashion Became Faster — and Worse for the Earth"

"The spring dance is in two weeks, and my friend needs help choosing a dress. She beckons me to her phone where an endless mosaic of elegant dresses, not one over $20, dances before my eyes. After much deliberation, she settles on a glamorous sapphire gown with pleated details lining the bodice. Another two weeks later, the dress carpets the bottom of a landfill, worn only once.

Welcome to the world of fast fashion.

Fast fashion is a relatively recent phenomenon. During the 1990s, retailers began to introduce trendy, cheaply-priced, poorly-made clothes on a weekly basis, intending to match the breakneck pace at which fashion trends move. Style became cheap, convenient and consumable.

Fast fashion, however, is ultimately a privilege. It is a privilege to buy clothes solely for their style, and it is a privilege to ignore the environmental consequences of doing so. In reality, the aggressive cycle of consumption perpetuated by fast fashion means that the clothes we wear are now more likely than ever to end up as part of the 92 million tons of textile waste produced annually."

Evelyn Wang, winner of the Learning Network’s Ninth Annual Student Editorial Contest, reports for the New York Times June 22, 2022.

Source: NYTimes, 06/23/2022