when I become overwhelmed by our fast-paced, always-connected, hyper-energetic society, I stop and think. What if everything slowed down? Not space and time, but us – what if we slowed down? Slowed down the way we consume?
Fast fashion is catastrophic.
What they don’t tell us when we shop at the mall, is that every second, one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. They don’t tell us that the industry is responsible for 10% of the global carbon footprint. They don’t tell us that it takes the equivalent of 2.5 years of drinking water to make one t-shirt.
What they don’t tell us when we shop at the mall, is that our clothes are made by the blood, sweat and lives of women in Bangladesh, in Cambodia, in India: women who work in factories with deep cracks in the walls, no fire escapes and barred windows. They don’t tell us about the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. They don’t tell us that countless people have lost their lives so that we can have cheap prices and multinational companies can make billions.
This industry profits off the destruction of nature, but everywhere we look we’re bombarded with ads telling us that fast fashion is the solution to our problems.
We need to start separating our opinions from those of corporations. To start being conscious consumers and thinking for ourselves again. To recognise that every dollar we spend is a vote for what we value. By not buying into fast fashion we say “no” to paying women $3 a day and to dumping megalitres of chemicals into the ocean, and “yes” to workers’ rights and to ethical environmental policies.
These days, I’m cautious of fast things. Everything fast comes with a price, economic, environmental, even human. And that scares me.
We can’t afford to be fast any longer – we can’t even afford it now. People are dying because of our addiction to faster and newer and bigger and better and cooler.
It’s time to change. Let’s start the important conversations, support the ethical organisations, and just slow the fuck down.Return to issues