It may be surprising, but the fashion industry's carbon impact is actually bigger than the aviation industry's. In addition, textile production creates chemical and plastic pollution, much of which ends up in the ocean. And less than 1% of clothing gets recycled.
Fast fashion involves the production of in-demand styles at high speed and low cost. It puts profit over quality, making items cheap but disposable. And these items are typically produced by women of colour, often working for poverty wages in unsafe and unethical conditions.
Home to well-known brands like Oasis and Pretty Little Thing, the company Boohoo has come under fire for unethical business practices in Leicester, with workers reporting conditions akin to modern slavery. And many other companies, from Shein to Primark, have been linked to harmful supply chains.
None of us want to unknowingly support unethical brands. But if we can't ensure transparency and accountability from companies, then we need a new law that will.
UK fast fashion
It can feel hard to balance loving fashion with loving the planet. But there are actions all of us can take, including individuals, companies and governments, to tackle fast fashion and its harmful impacts on people and planet.
In this episode of our podcast, we speak with fashion insiders Ros, from repairwhatyouwear.com, and Marie, founder of CONGREGATIONcollective, to find out how we can help change the fashion industry for the better.