Fashion is an outlet people use to express themselves. People anxiously wait to see what the next trends are as seasons pass by. We buy anything that doesn’t break a bank, people buy a $10 shirt just because it’s cheap and they might not even wear it, but it’s all right, since it wasn’t expensive. As harmless and normal as that scenario sounds, the fashion industry has created the harmful concept that is “fast fashion”, in which stores sell an abundance of extremely cheap trendy clothing and “where deliveries are small and often, with stock delivered twice a week, for instant-access fashion.” (Cochrane)
These stores persuade consumers through the means of television commercials, billboards, newspapers, and more ubiquitously use social media to make it seem as people need materialistic things to be happy.
But what is the true cost of that cheap $15 denim shirt really worth? Well, in Bangladesh, a major exporter of clothing can make it for $3.75 whereas the same shirt would cost $13.22 to make in the United States. Bangladesh workers have low wages and work in dangerous working conditions known as “sweatshops”. These sweatshops have lead to thousands of deaths in third word countries.
Not only does the fashion industry harm people directly, it’s also harming the environment. From the genetically modified cotton to the large number of textile waste people throw away each year. This causes pollution and toxic chemicals to be discharged into water. The effects of the fashion industry are often brushed off, but it can lead to destructive effects.
When browsing through H&M, Forever 21, and other retail stores, a $10 shirt isn’t that rare to find. ...
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... untreated, into nearby rivers, where it reaches the sea, eventually spreading around the globe. (Sweeny) Dyer toxics have contributed to undrinkable bottled water in many countries (Matthews)
The fashion industry is often thought of as a harmless, but that is certainly not the case. From the horrible working conditions and deaths of clothing factory workers, to the pollutants and toxic dyes discharged in water, the fashion industry has affected the world in multiple ways. It is important to think about the clothes we purchases. Do we really need it? Are we actually going to wear it? How many washes will it last? Instead of buying clothing just to catch up to the latest trends or simply because it’s cheap, one should think twice about the possible outcomes and the pain it has caused to people through out the world and support ethically made clothing.
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