Don't Be Clueless About Fast Fashion
THE AVERAGE AMERICAN THROWS AWAY 70 POUNDS OF CLOTHING EVERY YEAR. COLLECTIVELY, THAT'S APPROXIMATELY 3.8 BILLION POUNDS OF WASTE.
The environmental impact? It's dismal: When old clothes are buried in a landfill, they not only take up space but also can also contaminate soil and groundwater and emit horrifying odors. If they're not buried, it's off to the landfill's giant incinerator, which releases tons of greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming and climate change.
Americans consume nearly 20 billion garments a year. That’s 68 garments and 7 pairs of shoes per person or more than one piece of clothing purchased per week. Fast Fashion, those cheap, seemingly disposable items of clothing that never seem to fit well or last very long, have taken over. We have become consumed with the idea of consuming.
Many large clothing chains produce as much as a half a billion garments per year. UNIQLO makes 600,000 items of clothing a year. Zara processes 1 million garments per day. As of 2009, Forever 21 was ordering 100 million garments per year.
World fiber production is now 82 million tons, which requires 145 million tons of coal and somewhere between 1.5 trillion and 2 trillion gallons of water to produce.
Only 20 percent of the clothes we donate are sold in charity thrift shops (There’s simply too much to resell it all!). About half of secondhand clothing is turned into fibers or wiping rags. The rest is shipped overseas as used clothing.
WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO SAY HERE, PEOPLE, IS THAT THROWING AWAY CLOTHES IS A LOSE-LOSE.
Instead, think about donating to Union & Fifth. Learn more about donating here.
Once upon a time, the average person had a small collection of useable clothing that served multiple purposes. We darned holes in socks and handed too-small garments down to younger children.
And while we appreciate the fashionista on a budget’s dilemma of how to achieve fashion icon status while avoiding debtor status, we also think there may be a lot of value to the idea of a few great pieces as opposed to a closet full of, well, crap.
We would like to offer you some suggested alternatives that focus on quality while maintaining style and budget:
THE CHECK BLAZER
Zara | Check Blazer | $70
Moschino on Union & Fifth | Check Blazer | $95
THE BOHO DRESS
Forever 21 | Floral Paisley Maxi Dress | $24.90
Free People on Union & Fifth | Maxi Dress | $64
THE STRIPE SKIRT
Zara | Pinstripe Skirt | $39.90
Vintage on Union & Fifth | Silk Striped Skirt | $65
THE PLATFORM SANDAL
Nine West | Carnation Platform Sandal | $99
Marni on Union & Fifth | Platform Sandal | $89
There are so many ways you can turn someone's old into your new and shiny. Take a look at our new arrivals and make a statement by purchasing second-hand clothing.