Fashion Waste, Pollution and The Environment - With each second that passes by, a truck worth of fabric is piled into a landfill burned. The average dump truck is .76 cubic metres in diameter. A commercial dump truck holds 10-14 cubic yards of dirt. That means, every second you're reading this article 7.6 to 10 cubic meters of fabric is being dumped/burned, contributing to the 1.2bn in greenhouse gas emissions the fashion industry releases each year during manufacturing.
Shocking, isn't it? But the data released about the fashion industry doesn't get much better upon further reading. Clothing contributes to half a million tonnes of microfibre pollution into the ocean, the equivalent to 50bn plastic bottles.
We're all aware of the plastic ocean! You don't have to search too far on social media before finding a post about plastic ocean pollution across the world, or the positive impact removing tourism for from Phi Phi island has had on the environment and wildlife in Thailand's most popular beach for tourism. Well, the fashion industry is arguably just as harmful to our precious waters as plastic waste is.
Fashion isn't not only impacting the ocean, either. This year, it was reported that Burberry burned �40m worth of merchandise in one of the biggest stories surrounding luxury fashion in 2018. The brand wanted to retain brand exclusivity while keeping stock scarcity high.
The problem with this is the negative impact this has had on the brand and environment. This has left Burberry reconsidering their garment waste management strategy.
Fashion Waste - Fast Fashion Impacting the Environment
Luxury fashion isn't solely to blame for the industries impact on the environment. Of course, each sub-industry within fashion has its own impact on the environment, and Fast Fashion is one of them.
Due to social influencer marketing, the fashion industry has changed dramatically. Most importantly, they have created a new market. Social influencers recognised the power of social media and the impact it could have on the fashion industry.
This has left brands in a bit of a pickle, having to keep up with the latest influencer, their style, and how the brand can utilise them to grow their following. This is due to the customer (71% of them), is more likely to buy based on an online recommendation.
But diving deeper, has this style of marketing helped identify the customer need, or make brands lazy, relying on fast-turnaround products and pushing them out through influencers who can't get enough of working with fashion retailers?
It's not enough for customers now to shop by season, by shops or by influencers. Social media, self-confidence and insecurity have left the industry in a serious battle of supply and demand. With that comes higher impacts in production.
Fast Fashion goes beyond the season. No longer are there January or mid-season sales, but discounts based on influencer, key dates, affiliate marketing and more. You could say the industry has made fashion more agile. But realistically, it's contributed to creating a monster that needs the latest item of clothing or accessory, and they needed it yesterday.