Sustainability and Fashion

One thing that defines a generation is the major fashion trends it follows. You can always tell what time period a photograph was taken in because of the clothes people are wearing. It’s an important part of culture and individual identity. However, while fashion itself is still an important facet of our lives, there are aspects of it that have changed going into the 21st century. Namely, how much of it there is. Over the last decade, the trend cycle has sped up exponentially, to the point where trends go out of style in a matter of months. This is a huge contrast compared to the 20th century, where we can find trends that lasted an entire decade. This is due to the concept of fast fashion. This is a scheme to make clothes as quickly and cheaply as possible, with styles going from the catwalk to store shelves in a matter of weeks. Starting in the late 20th century, when new poly-combination fabrics became introduced to mainstream fashion, it became possible to create more clothes for less money. This coupled with the hyper-consumerist lifestyle that began in the 90s, people began buying more. Obviously, this has a detrimental impact on the environment. The biggest challenges to sustainability are overconsumption and overproduction. With stores trying to keep up with new trends, they end up using much higher number of materials, and end up creating a lot more waste in the process. Waste that ends up in a landfill, and takes hundreds of years to decompose. Fashion has such an important role in our culture, but it might be killing our world in the process. While there are ways to more sustainably partake in fashion, at its current rate, we’ll be up to our necks in old turtlenecks in no time.

4 thoughts on “Sustainability and Fashion”

  1. Interesting topic to focus on that I think needs much more attention from the world! I’ve seen countless times where my friends simply throw away old clothes instead of donating them because they feel no one would want them. However, instead of a donation center, these all go to the local landfill! I think pairing sustainability with clothes is something that needs to become an industry standard. Patagonia is one brand I love to support as much of their clothing is made from recycled materials making you feel better about each time you purchase a new shirt!

  2. Honestly, I really like new ‘fashion’ but I did not ever stop to think how it effects the environment. I mean obviously a concern is how these big companies produce their clothes, but what all this overproduction of clothing show be a concern as well. What are ways consumers can help?

  3. Jessica,
    I am interested in fashion and fashion trends and learning about the history of fashion, as well as current fashion trends. I am excited to read more about fashion as a whole on your blog and learning more than what I know.

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