Fast Fashion – Was ist daran schlecht?
von Co-Ref. Oksana
English version below
Fast Fashion und Menschenrechtsverletzungen
Umweltverschmutzung und Fast Fashion
Die Second-Hand Lüge
Fast Fashion – What’s wrong with that?
by Co-Ref. Oksana
Clothing has long since ceased to be intended only to protect us from the cold and sun but has gained a high status as an expression of our personality. More and more large clothing companies such as Zara, H&M, Bershka, C&A, Mango, s.Oliver and New Yorker are trying to satisfy their customers hunger for consumption. They offer up to 24 collections per year. This increases consumption enormously: an average German buys 60 pieces of clothing per year. Different studies show that 64% of the clothes bought are not worn and end up in the garbage. It is important to consider under which conditions these clothes are produced: Whether the workers receive a decent salary, whether the technical equipment in the factories meets the safety standards and whether no harmful chemicals are used in the dyeing of the clothes. These questions are important because the fashion industry is not only one of the biggest polluters, but also one of the industries where human rights are often violated.
Fast Fashion and human rights violations
Pollution and Fast Fashion
A major issue is environmental exploitation and pollution associated with clothing production. On the one hand, resources such as water (for cotton cultivation and production of synthetic man-made fibers) and crude oil (for the production of man-made fibers) are consumed. On the other hand, harmful and toxic substances are used in the cleaning and dyeing of clothing, which not only pollutes the environment but is also hazardous to health. Furthermore, the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transport of the clothing, but also by the use of chemicals, should also be mentioned. For example, 48 kg of greenhouse gases are produced per kg of a product when a long shirt is made from cotton.
The Second-Hand Lie
The problem of old clothing also remains unsolved. So, it happens that business is done with the better part of donated clothing. The old clothes that are no longer suitable for sale are exported to the countries of the global South, either to be sold there as second-hand clothes or for the purpose of humanitarian aid. Since the quality of the clothing is often very poor, 42 countries, mainly in Africa, South America, and Asia, have severely restricted or completely banned the import of used clothing in order to protect local textile production and prevent the import of “garbage”. All these circumstances suggest neo-colonialism since the circumstances described above not only exploit labor and resources but also endanger local production. Organizations such as the Fair Wear Foundation, Clean Clothes Campaign, FEMNET, and the Better Cotton Initiative are working at a global level to promote decent working conditions, fair wages, and sustainable production. A lot can also be done at the local level and in the personal environment. More on this in the next chapter.
Translated with the help of DeepL
Photos: unsplash.com and The Guardian