Ardgillan Community Collage Students ECO-UNESCO project aims to highlight implications Fast Fashion

May 23, 2019 0

ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisation that works to conserve the environment and empower young people. Four transition students from Ardgillan Community College, Louise, Keeva, Britney, Kerene and Temi have done a project on Fast Fashion. 

Fast fashion refers to fashionable clothes that are designed and manufactured as quickly as possible and sold to consumers at very low prices. New fast fashion clothes arrive in stores weekly or even daily. They cost so little that many people can afford to fill their wardrobes with new outfits several times a year and then throw them out as soon as they go out of style.  

The message to society is that the items are cheap so it’s OK to purchase them for only one wear.

  1. Fast Fashion exploits workers
    The push to quickly create clothing that costs buyers as little as possible leads to factories that put production ahead of safety or workers’ rights. This led to the Dhaka fire in 2012 and the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed a combined total of over 1,200 Bangladeshi apparel workers and injured many more.
  2. Fast Fashion is environmentally damaging and unsustainable
    • Production
      • Fiber production takes roughly 145 million tons of coal and between 1.5 and 2 trillion gallons of water which is a huge drain on the earth’s resources (Cline, 2013)
      • WWF has estimated that a pair of jeans consumes over 10’000 litres of water during their life, which is equivalent to almost 24,000 bottles of water. 49% goes to growing the cotton (Wicker, 2016)
      • Synthetic indigo dyes, which are derived from coal tar and toxic chemicals, are used in 90% of jeans made in China (The Guardian, 2016)
      • Neurotoxic and carcinogenic heavy metals — cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, and copper were found in 17 out of 21 water and sediment samples surrounding clothing factories in China (RiverBlue)
    • Waste
      • The majority of people dispose of clothes they are finished with. The average person throws away 30 kg of clothes which go to landfill (Huffington Post)
      • These clothes are full of lead and pesticides and almost never break down, spending their life releasing these toxic chemicals in the air.

ardgillan community college ty eco unesco project_2