What Are the Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

Monjurul Hasan


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Fashion is significant for a society to groom. In doing so, makers and consumers adapt new trends in clothing. Teens and adults are inclined toward becoming a part of a fast pacing society. Nonetheless, they forget about the effects of fast fashion on the environment.

Fast fashion and ever-changing clothing trends have been great for economic advancements around the globe. However, their environmental effects don’t comply with the environmental benefits. Instead, fast fashion fuels up the setbacks in ecological changes.

Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

Air, water, and atmosphere pollution are all caused by cheaply produced garments and their waste dumped into nature.

The reports claim fast fashion to be highly hazardous to the environment globally. Let’s look into some facts indicating the impacts of fast fashion on the environment.   

What Does “Fast Fashion” Mean In terms of Environmental Flux?

As per the analysis conducted by Business Insider, the production of apparel contains 10% of total carbon emissions globally. The adverse effects include polluting streams and rivers and drying water sources.

Other than that, 85% of clothing industries dump waste into the water every year. This includes dumping 500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year.

The production companies neglect the chances of putting the environment at risk; hence, their initiations result in significant consequences. We can have a look at the root causes of the environment being jeopardized.

Waste of Water

Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

Wasting water has become very common today. People don’t really care how much water they are not using but wasting while manufacturing clothes for consumers.

According to reports, the apparel industry consumes 10,000 liters of water to produce good-quality products. To summarize, they utilize one-tenth of all of the water in order to run their business.

More precisely, 10,000 liters of water is used to produce 1kg of cotton. Moreover, 3,000 liters of water is consumed for a single cotton t-shirt.

Lastly, wasting precious water has become a habit of consumers as well. The use of washing machines is one of the primary reasons for water wastage as it is the most commonly used by people.


Toxicity Inflicted on Environment Due to Chemicals

Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

Dyeing techniques by textiles use highly toxic chemicals. The hazardous chemicals eventually become a part of the oceans and pollute the water source on a great level.

Many factories and mills are running their operations overseas or in countries without strict environmental regulations. Due to their functionalities, the water becomes contaminated due to toxicity. In other words, it loses its ability to be drinkable or even usable by locals.


Consumption and Waste of Clothes

Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

As far as the trends go, consumers take a leap of faith and buy affordable and appealing clothes. As per the report of 2019, the consumers of apparel consumed 62 million metric tons of dresses worldwide. The growth of revenue in the apparel industry may seem promising since it’s affecting the economy positively, but it has some serious setbacks when it comes to environmental changes. 

Given the current circumstances leading to clothes selling and purchasing rate, two main problems occur. One is the wastage and piling up of used and unusable clothes. Second is the burning or wasting of the ones dumped by consumers. The piling up of unusable thread has been witnessed in many regions across the world.

Consumers, when they find the clothes useless, they throw them away. That causes pollution and diseases. Other than that, people have seen huge piles burnt since they were nothing but garbage to them. As a result, the gaseous emission from burning clothes turns out to be extremely toxic for the atmosphere as well as people.

Plastic Microfibers

Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

The biggest and worst of all sources of plastic microfibers are the synthetic materials that go into seas and oceans to pollute water. All synthetic materials create approximately 35% of all micro plastics.

The manufacturers save costs by using low-quality materials to make apparel. For instance, polyester made with plastic is used to create polyester material for clothes production. This particular fabric is known for more carbon emissions than other materials, especially cotton.

The major setback caused by plastic is when it breaks down in the water, resulting in toxic substances that disturb the marine ecosystem. The chain continues interacting with human food since plastic microfibers cannot be separated or removed from the fabric. The reaction causes serious health issues.


Energy Consumption

Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

A massive amount of petroleum is the main source of making plastic fibers in the textile industry. Another problem is that it releases acids such as hydrogen chloride and volatile particulate substances.

Cotton is once again the winner in damaging the environment since pesticides are used in growing cotton. And pesticides cause health problems for farmers.

In order to prevent such problems, manufacturers can use fabrics, including organic cotton, linen, wild silk, lyocell, and hemp.


What can be the Solution?

Impacts of Fast Fashion on Environment

It’s been suggested that slow fashion instead of fast fashion can help prevent environmental chaos. Avoiding overcomplicated supply chains and excessive consumption of materials can reduce the risk of exposing animals, humans, and the environment to unwanted problems.

The United Nations has also launched the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion in order to acknowledge the environmental damages inflicted by fast fashion. Also, it proposed slowing down the practices involved in damaging the environment through fast fashion.   



Environmental problems may be caused due to many reasons, but clothing production and fast fashion have become one of the major causes. The use of synthetic materials, dumping of material in water, and wasting or burning clothes turn out to be extremely hazardous for the environment.

The dumping of fabric, plastic, and unusable clothes causes’ serious damage to humans as well as animals on both land and water.

To prevent environmental setbacks, The UN has proposed slow fashion and avoiding the use of toxic materials.

More importantly, businesses groom to get stronger economically, and in doing so, they forget about the consequences that society and the environment face. They need to understand the idea of preserving nature and not destroying it via applying procedures that indicate global environmental destruction.

Author Bio:

John Evan is a fashion blogger and content specialist at Mega Sports Apparel, a renowned sportswear clothing manufacturer. With a passion for fashion business, he provides valuable insights and trends through his engaging articles.

His three years of experience in the fashion industry have made him a sought-after voice, offering practical advice and creative inspiration to fashion enthusiasts and professionals alike. Stay informed and inspired with his up-to-date fashion expertise.

Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/johnevan867

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