We hear it more and more, we are aware of how the great monster Zara makes its beautiful super trendy clothes of mediocre or even non-existent quality. Just like this brand, there is the grandiose, unique Hennes & Mauritz (H&M),Bershka, Lacoste, Pull and Bear or Adidas. All the same. I used also to fall into their trap, for very long years, and I still fall into it sometimes unfortunately.
I didn’t make it up, many other people have brought it up before me. The textile industry it’s a sick industry, for a number of reasons. Between the conditions of workers in the textile industry in Bangladesh, India, Cambodia and certainly many other countries – the handling of toxic products to dye clothes by children aged between 10 and 15 who are not going to live beyond the age of 40 because they are all going to suff from serious cancers, unsuitable working conditions and miserable wages just to satisfy the Europeans – and the negative impact that this has on the planet – materials that are used, polluting means of transport, wastage, polluted water – in 2019 we are talking about 150 billion garments sold.
According to the ADEME, « fashion emits 1.2 billion tons of CO2 every year, more than aviation and international maritime traffic combined », no, but do we need all these clothes ? Go open your closet and ask yourself questions.
« Washing out our synthetic garments releases around 500,000 tons of micro-plastics into the ocean each year, the equivalent of more than 50 billion plastic bottles. »
I could write about this all night and even tomorrow morning I won’t have finished to give you shocking datas. The worst part of it is that 20% of the fabric is unused and ends up in the garbage.
I’ve already mentioned it here and there on the blog, I love vintage and « its smells », let’s say it ha ha ! « But I can’t wear a piece of clothing if someone else has worn it before, it’s dirty », ah ok but I think we all have a washing machines, or laundries exist too. But otherwise, shopping in Zara is ok?
My goal is not to criticize those who consume fast fashion, but to share what is already being said all over the internet and social networks. Reduce, as much as you can, buying new clothes. Websites such as vinted, le bon coin, vestiaire collective exist and if you’re smart, and you can’t resist the latest fall-winter collection from Bershka, you can also find the sweater released two weeks ago. But let’s be clear, that’s not the goal, the goal is to promote ethical brands, vintage and good materials. There are already tons of clothes that are here, that need to be used so that they don’t end up being burned and start exploiting poor countries and polluting the planet again.
« The average lifespan of a garment worn in an European Union country is 3.3 years. « because globalisation has brought over-consumption. We can never have enough. Let’s buy because ASOS says so. What if ASOS tells you to put your head under water for 30 minutes?
By buying second hand or vintage you are much more likely to come across good materials: wool, silk, cotton. Despite the fact that cotton is the most polluting material, the garment is already here, already made. The same is true with wool, which has a longer life span than the polyester used by most of the big brands. My wardrobe is currently made up of 60% vintage or second-hand clothes, quality pieces that have lived and therefore resist. What’s more, you can stand out so much without being a « fast fashion victim ».
Second-hand sales websites, garage sales, second-hand shops and vintage shops, there are so many choices where you can buy beautiful quality pieces that, I assure you, can last you a lifetime and all that without breaking the bank.
And if you don’t want to go through second hand or vintage, there are also small ethical fashion brands that offer very nice trendy pieces and think about the human side and the planet, using natural fabrics that are not toxic for humans and the planet. It’s all about wanting to do it 🙂