Following the holidays, students have loads of new clothes from shopping themselves or as gifts from loved ones. The growing trend of fast fashion sees an increase during the holiday season and is responsible for increased environmental damage due to its cheap and harmful form of manufacturing.
Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand.
According to Business Insider, fashion production comprises 10% of total global carbon emissions, as much as the European Union. In addition to this, it dries up water sources as it takes up to 20,00 litres of water to make one kilo of cotton. While washing the clothes releases 500,000 tons of microfibres into the ocean each year which is the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
As fast fashion is not designed to last, it results in textile waste as consumers throw out the last seasons clothes with the hope of buying what is trending at the moment. Enormous landfills of discarded clothes then become a reality as it is incredibly difficult for companies to effectively recycle their materials.
What can you do
Fast fashion is attractive to students due to its cheap prices and multiple deals but as global citizens, we have a duty to source sustainable and environmentally friendly options. This can be done by:
- Recycling clothes that would usually be disposed after the holiday season. You can do this by taking the clothes to Bristol’s Reuse and Recycling Centres or alternatively by leaving it outside your homes or student accommodations in the black recycling box.
- There is a huge market for reselling items online on websites like De-Pop that would allow students to sell their second-hand clothes.
- Students can also donate the clothes to charities like OXFAM or clothing banks located in Bristol.
- To purchase clothes, there are thrift shops found in Bristol that could appeal to students such as:
- The Vintage Thrift Store (35-37 park street)
- Uncle Sam’s
- The Magpie
More information on what you can do as a student at the University of Bristol is located on this website: https://bristolwastecompany.co.uk/clothing-waste/
Written by Student Champion, Marvin Karenzi