Megan Tarbuck, our lifestyle editor has taken on the challenge of buying no new clothes throughout the whole of 2020. Fast fashion is a massive part of our individual carbon footprints and can use unethical practices and employment. No new clothes in 2020 is a challenge which means any clothing brought has to be second hand or vintage.
For my new years resolution, I wanted to pick something challenging and sustainability orientated. As a student my budget limits my access to certain sustainable ways of living, I simply cannot afford to go completely zero-waste. I try to make good investments where I can to add sustainable elements into my life, but we’re all human and we can only do our best.
I’ve pledged to stop buying new clothes this year as I am fortunate to be in the position that I own more than enough. Fast fashion is such a damaging industry to our planet, a 2019 UK Parliament report ‘Fixing Fashion’ claimed fast fashion promotes us to over-consume and generate more waste. Online brands that deliver quickly and release new styles weekly fall into the fast fashion industry. Most of these brands work on producing something and delivering it as quickly as possible, for the lowest amount of money but with no regards for the impact on the planet or people that make the items.
Back in 2018, the Financial Times found that exploitation of workers in the clothing industry hits extremely close to home; Leicester in the UK! Their report suggested that people in the UK were working for less than £5 an hour in garment industry factories. In addition, the ethical implications of the fast fashion industry are felt particularly hard in Asia. Rana Plaza, a garment producing factory in Bangladesh, collapsed and killed more than 1,000 people in 2017. Women in Bangladesh receive some of the lowest wages in the world for creating our clothes. Fast fashion brands have a hold over places like Bangladesh where wages don’t rise due to fear the brands may go elsewhere in order to keep the price of their garments low.
Globally, we consume 400% more clothes than just 2 decades ago