With growing markets and a constant increase in the demand for fashion and textiles, large scale companies have resorted to methods and materials that are unethical and increasingly harmful to the planet. The heart-breaking truth is that our planet is facing a giant threat in the form of climate change, and mass-produced textiles and fast fashion have a role to play in this.
What is fast fashion? According to Merriam Webster, fast fashion is:
‘an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.’
Fast fashion is the use of cheap quality fabrics, and the outsourcing of production to countries that offer very cheap labour. Its goal is to produce in huge quantities, spending very little money and making a large profit. This is not restricted to the clothing industry, it involves industries that deal with fabric and textiles in general. The detrimental effects of this can be divided into two major factors:
1. Environmental Issues
The rapid production, low quality, and competitive pricing of fast fashion creates a large impact on the environment. These brands use toxic dyes, chemicals and synthetic fabrics to achieve their price points. All of this bleeds into the water sources of the country they are produced in, as well as the countries they are sold in. Due to the low quality of these items, they are thrown away shortly after purchase. Each year the amount of clothing thrown away creates nearly the same carbon footprint as airlines and oil companies. These fabrics are full of pesticides and numerous other chemicals that rarely ever decompose.
2. Human Rights Issues
Along with harming the planet, fast fashion has adverse effects on the people who make them. The production of these fabrics and products is outsourced to countries where the labour is cheap. These labourers work inhumane hours in very unfavourable conditions, and are grossly underpaid. The goods that we often love to buy and flaunt for their affordable prices and trendy styles, come from a rather dark place of human right violations…
The Solution is Sustainable Textiles
The textile community as a whole needs to be more mindful and responsible for the effects their products have. Using locally and ethically sourced fabrics, having fair labour regulations, using natural materials, and creating lasting products is the way to a sustainable future. While sustainable fashion, be it clothes or home fashion, may be comparatively more expensive, it offers greater value and longer use. These items that are created from pure fabrics are bound to have superior quality and a much longer life. They are constructed to last and will not shed, lose colour or shape for a very long time. They have designs that are created with more care and detail than the average mass-produced product.
Buying fashion responsibly is as important as producing it responsibly. It ensures a better future for the planet as well as products with impeccable quality.
Everything at Zeba—clothes and home fashion—are made from the best, local and sustainable fabrics. Every piece is designed, stitched, embroidered, printed and constructed in-house by our very talented team. This allows us to always be in control of what we offer. We do not own a mill; hence we source all our fabrics from mills across India, paying patronage to the Indian textile industry while using fabrics that are of the best quality and offer the least amount of harm to the planet. We are proud to be a small-scale organisation with strong values and ethical products. We believe that sustainable style is a way of life, and we want to make it available and accessible to all. To this end, we do not compromise on quality, and work very hard to provide great value for our products. We understand that no style fits all, with this in mind, all our pieces are customisable ensuring that we can provide something for every customer.
However daunting the effects of fast fashion may seem, there is still hope. Various brands are beginning to become more conscious of the effects of their businesses. Sustainable fashion and beauty are growing at a steady pace and people are becoming more aware every day. At Zeba, we look forward to a cleaner and more conscious future.