Fast Fashion: Clothing that follows fashion trends and moves quickly with the latest pieces. Sadly 60% of clothing is now made with synthetic fibers and fossil fuels. When it reaches landfills, this clothing is unable to decompose and this poses a problem for the environment.

Companies that use fast fashion include:  

Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters, GUESS, GAP, Fashion Nova, H&M, Zara, Adidas.

*This is only a small group of companies that are listed, there is much more companies in fast fashion.

How can you avoid fast-fashion?

  • Buy from sustainable clothing lines 
  • Quality over quantity when buying clothing 
  • Shop at thrift stores
  • Rent clothes for special occasions

Why are sweatshops used as cheap labor?

Fast-fashion brands rely on cheap labor. Supplier firms in developing companies, called Tier 1, create contracts with multiple fast fashion companies that allow the companies to outsource production from these firms. This process makes sure that fast fashion brands are not directly affiliated by hiring someone else to do their dirty work. These firms are usually unregistered, so the government has no control over anything. The industry allows bosses to hire and fire, depending on the production needs .

Statistics of sweatshops:

Since 2006 more than 600 garment workers have died in sweatshop factory fires while sewing clothing for giant fashion companies, like GAP, H&M, and Abercrombie (Admin, 2012).

In developing countries, an estimated 168 million children ages 5 to 14 are forced to work (International Labor Organization, 2013). 

There are an estimated 168 million children in child labor and 21 million people in forced labor across the world today (2016).

Women sewing NBA jerseys make 24 cents per garment – an item that will eventually sell for $140 or more (Brandon, 2017).

Only 4 out of the top 10 nations that have the highest number of suspected sweatshops have an hourly wage that exceeds $1 per hour. Many Nike sweatshop workers die by the age of 15, which is acclaimed correct by the ASSL League. Clothing, shoes, coffee, chocolate, bananas, and toys are the most common commodities produced in sweatshops.(Brandon, 2017)

In a survey from Benin, West Africa, 45 percent of cotton farmers said they used pesticide containers to carry water, and 20–35 percent used them to hold milk or soup. Another study found that 86 percent of households in the cotton industry stored their pesticides in their bedroom.

Farmers work bare-footed, bare-handed, and are directly exposed to pesticides. An Egyptian study found that 88 percent of cotton workers had never used protective clothing – though cotton is the most pesticide-intensive crop in the world (The World Counts, 2021).

References:

https://www.greenamerica.org/blog/factory-exploitation-and-fast-fashion-machine

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-sweatshops

https://waronwant.org/sweatshops-bangladesh

https://brandongaille.com/36-shocking-sweatshop-statistics/

https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/clothing/sweatshop-facts/story

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