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What happens when clothes become cheap and fashion becomes disposable?

What happens when clothes become cheap and fashion becomes disposable?

When you open your closet your eyes land on that shirt from two years ago you bought for less than 500 bucks. But you don't wear it, because it doesn't fit you and sits oddly on your body. Then there's that expensive dress you purchased and wear on special occasions only. There is a huge difference in how you will treat these both items of clothing. You will go on to dump the cheap item of clothing but will take extensive care of the expensive one, even if you wear it once in a blue moon.

Fashion cycles are now rotating faster than ever. With brands producing more and more collections, the rate of purchasing is following suit. This process has been termed as 'fast fashion'. The time when each of the four seasons had one collection is over for us, now it's like we have 11 or 15 seasons, by the number of collections that come out. More styles mean more purchases, which in turn means an increased amount of trash clothes. The making of so many more collections also leads people to spending money on clothes in an impetuous way.

Journalist Elizabeth Cline writes in her book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion that this problem of 'disposable clothing' that we have on our hands is deleterious to our surroundings and the environment.

It has also been estimated that by 2030, CO2 emissions from our very loved but high-risk fashion industry are going to increase by a daunting 60%, touching almost 2.8 billion tons per year in the future.

It has also been confirmed by Eileen Fisher, an American fashion and clothing designer who has also received an environmental award. She spoke about it while addressing a certain audience in Manhattan, saying that clothing and textile really is the largest producer of pollution after oil. This tells us how even though the idea of cheap affordable clothing seems riveting, it has more harm to do than is visible.

Since fashion is one of the largest industries, it has the capacity to create more harm than others. There are several ways that have been formulated to deal with this textile waste. Some brands take up their own used clothing and recycle it to new and sell it, some take up recycled fibres to weave their clothing.


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