Is Fast Fashion Speeding up Global Pollution?


Lila Caminiti

Junior Lucy Edmunds shows off her thrifted outfit.

Lila Caminiti, Clubs Editor, Junior

Around the world, it’s no secret that many corporations choose to put their business interests before the health of the environment and well-being of workers. The textile industry is one of the largest polluters, and it has only gotten worse with the craze known as “Fast Fashion.” This is a process involving cheap labor that results in quicker production and lower consumer prices. However, the lower price tag comes at a cost. Pelham students can do their part by refraining from supporting corporations known to utilize ‘Fast Fashion’.

Many popular companies like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, and Uniqlo continue to use quick and easy production methods, despite the extreme consequences that the process results in. Many fibers found in fabrics are now made from fossil fuels and are synthetic. This means that, despite clothing being trendier and cheaper, it also will not decay in landfills. Fast fashion is also worse for consumers in the long run due to the poor quality of its by-products; these clothes, while cheaper than other options, rarely last more than a season. This causes consumers to actually pay more than they would for products of better quality that, though pricier, last longer.

These companies also promote dismal working conditions. With workers putting in long days in cramped sweatshops, these businesses outsource labor costs to places like Cambodia and Bangladesh due to cheaper labor, much of which is done by children. By buying fewer things from these name brands, Pelham students can do their part to protect the environment.

Although as students we often dismiss large-scale issues, such as national policy or climate change, as being beyond our control, it is within our power to make more ethical and sustainable choices.