Despite the plethora of articles and warnings about the dangers of fast fashion in terms of overconsumption, pollution and sheer waste, most people find it too hard to resist the allure of more affordable clothing and accessories.
It was recent, and extremely depressing New York Times article dealing with Art the stunning success of Chinese fast fashion brand Sheinwhose sales revenue in 2020 was $10 billion.
Shein’s prices are rock bottom, well below other fast fashion brands like H&M, and the price tags are shockingly low – $3 for a bucket hat, $16.50 for faux suede boots, or $15.25 for a wedding dress . – naturally leads consumers to buy more things and more often.
One customer boasted that they had 79 items in their cart for $796. It is unclear what the actual quality of these 79 items is, not to mention other potential issues such as wages and working conditions, copyright infringement, etc.
Having never purchased the product, I would hazard a guess that they are all completely synthetic.
Newly released information from The Woolmark Company reports that an Olympic pool of crude oil is used every 25 minutes to produce synthetic clothing, which equates to a staggering 350 million barrels per year.
To highlight these dire statistics and educate consumers about the dangers of synthetic fibers to the environment, Woolmark has created a global environmental brand campaign called Wear Wool, Not Fossil Fuel.
The company shows a very impressive video of people trying
avoiding an oil-filled pool by taking off your clothes to reveal clothes made from natural merino wool fibers that are much more environmentally friendly and, frankly, much, much nicer to wear.
John Roberts, CEO of Woolmark, says: “It is predicted that in just ten years’ time, 73 per cent of the entire clothing market will be made from synthetic fibers derived directly from fossil fuels.
Buy less, buy better
“The impact these garments have during use and end of life cannot be underestimated.
“In fact, it’s been said that the equivalent of 50 billion microfibre plastic bottles end up in waste water every year just from washing. Science shows that wool does not contribute to microplastic pollution.
“Research also shows that wool clothing is one of the oldest in wardrobes, with high levels of reuse and donation, along with high levels of recycling and commercially viable end-of-life pathways.”
If we want to be responsible consumers, the key is to buy less and buy better, which means paying a higher price from the start. A quality wool jumper or wool coat that will last literally years is something that should end up in thrift stores, not a $17 synthetic skirt.
I have a few coats in my wardrobe that are expensive at the time (one of those purchases where you have to drink a cup of coffee and think about it before you pull out your credit card). I still pull them out
and wear them again and again.
The price for one of our wears, they were much cheaper than cheap clothes.