Sustainability

Author Dana Thomas on the Environmental Problems of Fast Fashion

Author Dana Thomas is shining a light on the problem with fast fashion. The longtime fashion journalist chronicles the fashion industry’s roles in large-scale human rights abuses and its contributions to economic and environmental problems.
 
“Fast fashion is trendy clothes produced in massive amounts, at lightning speed, sold in thousands of stores worldwide, at super low prices,” she explained. “To sell clothing for low prices, retailers rely on production outsourced to developing nations, where there is little or no safety and labor oversight.”
 
Fast fashion employs one out of six people around the world and fewer than 2% of them earn a living wage. But Thomas says people can shift their consumption habits to be more sustainable. Her book “Fashionopolis” details sustainable solutions introduced by industry leaders and re-adopting slow fashion principles.
 
To adopt more sustainable fashion practices, Thomas suggests laundering your clothes less frequently, assessing clothes that you already own before buying new trends, trying renting services, considering secondhand and consignment; skipping plastic bags when you do go shopping, and donating your clothes instead of throwing them out.
 
“Slow fashion, as I write in ‘Fashionopolis,’ is the return of the old way of doing things, but with a modern twist or with modern technology,” she explained.