I’ve often seen the reference to the “dark side of fashion”.
And as someone who isn’t really into fashion, except for running this site, which may seem surprising :). I researched more into this.
Basically, there is a lot of negative social and environmental impacts caused by the fashion industry.
Since it’s one of the largest and most influential industries in the world, this negative impact must be mitigated to protect our planet.
Some of the issues that are often associated with the “dark side of fashion” are listed below. I’ve selected videos with perspectives from around the world.
Labor Exploitation and Poor Working Conditions
Many fashion brands rely on low-cost labor in countries like China, Bangladesh, and India, where workers may be paid very low wages and may work in poor and unsafe conditions.
The Hidden Price of Your Clothes
This is a hidden camera investigation by CBC Marketplace, a Canadian news agency.
They reveal North Korean workers working in China under forced labour, as well as deplorable wages in Canada and the US.
The fashion industry is a major contributor to environmental degradation, including the depletion of natural resources, the release of toxic chemicals, and the generation of textile waste.
The Environmental Disaster that is Fuelled by Used Clothes and Fast Fashion | Foreign Correspondent
Fast fashion has radically transformed the textile industry. These days, 56 million tons of clothing are sold every year. But cheap garments come at a high price: A precarious existence for workers and a catastrophic environmental impact.
The clothing industry is currently deluging the planet with garments. With 100 billion items produced every year, that’s more than ever before. International companies are locked in an ongoing race to create new styles and win higher profits. And this gigantic expansion is set to continue: The sector is forecast to grow by 60 per cent by 2030.
On the one hand, fast fashion means affordable clothes for all. Zara is known as the original fast fashion brand. The Spanish clothing giant creates 65,000 new styles every year.
Shopping for clothes has become a veritable leisure activity stoked by social media: half of all Instagram posts are related to fashion and beauty. This is how market leaders in fast fashion influence their customers’ buying behavior, backed by relevant neuromarketing specialists.
Fast fashion profits from e-commerce. No more trying on clothes in the store, the customer orders online and has the garment delivered – and if they don’t like it, they just send it back. Throwaway clothes and throwaway work: carried out by an army of couriers within the precarious gig economy.
The textile industry is the sector with the world’s second-highest environmental price tag. Fast fashion manufacturers’ favorite material – viscose made from wood fibers – is marketed as a climate-friendly alternative. But producing this fabric uses a whole range of chemicals. This leads to serious health issues, not only for those working in the factories, but also for people living close by, for example in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Every year in Europe, four million tons of clothing ends up in the trash. Less than one per cent of this is recycled. The fashion industry likes to parade its sustainability credentials, but the reality is quite the opposite.
The use of animal products in the fashion industry, including leather, fur, and exotic skins, has been associated with animal cruelty and environmental harm.
Animals in Fashion
Consumerism and Waste
The fast-paced and trend-driven nature of the fashion industry has contributed to a culture of consumerism and waste, where consumers are encouraged to constantly buy new clothes and discard them after only a few wears.
Fast fashion – The shady world of cheap clothing | DW DocumentaryQubely – A Full-fledged Gutenberg Builder
Exposing SHEIN: Child Labor, Stolen Designs & Poisonous Clothing
Why China’s SHEIN Is Beating ASOS, H&M, and Zara in Fast Fashion
How Does China Ship for Free to Your Door?
Something related to SHEIN and other Chinese companies who can ship for dirt cheap across the globe to us in the West is the fact that developed countries subsidize China for their delivery!
That’s right, we in the West subsidize the cheap clothing from China and ruin our own business by subsidizing them!
Seems crazy, but, it’s true. Watch this video below.