Let’s End Fast Fashion


Fast Fashion is currently one of the most controversial sustainability arguments up for debate as more and more consumers are choosing tonnes of cheap merchandise meant to be worn a dozen times over quality made goods meant to last a lifetime. As the populations of large cities grow so does the cost of living making the average consumer hungry for cheap products. A desire to stand out from the crowd using fashion poses two options to these customers; to buy quality goods made to last but only once in a while, or consume cheap goods on a much faster scale. It’s so cheap many consumers have a hard time saying “no” to fast fashion.


With the level of consumerism continuing to grow, popular fast fashion conglomerates have found an opportunity to produce cheap fashion items in poorer countries where labor can be heavily exploited. These goods are then shipped to richer countries that consume the items for three to four times more money than the cost to produce.


It’s great that those of us who make up the richer countries in this scenario have the opportunity to consume cheap fashion at an alarmingly fast rate, but at what cost? Making these items cheaply can also mean making them toxically. Each garment becomes a massive drain on our natural resources drawing thousands of gallons of water, producing billions of tons of carbon emissions and polluting thousands of acres of land with waste.


I’m sure at this point you’d probably prefer a solution to this problem over another 300 words of how fast fashion is going to destroy the world… and luckily I have some ideas (with the help of the internet of course) on how you can reduce your own personal fashion footprint.


  1. Don’t consume new fashion. It’s as simple as that. Purchase items with longevity in mind and stop buying simply because it’s cheap. Make sure to give yourself the time to buy sustainability made goods. Do the proper research and to make sure that your purchases will last and not leave a massive footprint in the production process.
  2. If you just can’t control the fashion guru in you, buy second hand. It’s important to consider that the fake old band shirt you bought at Target and then shrank and tossed into the Goodwill bin will be a great find for someone else. And if that’s the case for them, it can be for you too. So, if you need a constantly rotating wardrobe, try the Goodwill. You might find an actual old band t-shirt.
  3. Read the tags. When you’re buying new clothes, it pays to stop and make sure that the item you’re buying comes from a place where workers are treated fairly.
  4. Consider looking for alternative designers that use recycled fabrics to make their clothes. Yes, this is what we do here at HJELT, but that doesn’t mean we are the first. There are many designers out there finding new methods to create sustainable solutions to this growing problem of cheap goods consumerism.


As we forge ahead into the future, nervous about how we will be able to maneuver through the inevitable climate changes; it is important for each of us to recognize our own bad habits and how we can change what we do in our everyday lives to heal the planet. Here at HJELT we try to provide a fun, sustainable solution to the fast fashion problem of textile waste but we are only one piece in the largest puzzle humanity has ever faced. Together we can work to solve it, one fake old Target band shirt at a time.