Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion Facts:

  • The world consumes over 80 billion pieces of clothing per year.
  • The average Canadian throws out 14 kg of textile waste a year.
  • 300 million pairs of reusable shoes end up in landfills each year.
  • Only 10% of the clothes people donate to thrift stores or charity get sold. Everything else ends up in landfills or flooding markets of developing countries.
  • 95% of clothing can be recycled to make something new.
  • The fast fashion industry designs clothes to fall apart so that customers have to buy more.
  • The fast fashion industry is designed to make customers feel “out of trend” after one week.
  • Over 70% of the world’s population wear second hand clothes.

Environmental Facts:

  • Apparel is the second largest polluter of fresh water in the world.
  • It takes 2720 litres of water to make a t-shirt.
  • 10% of the world’s total carbon footprint comes from the apparel industry.
  • The average pair of jeans travels 32,000 kilometres, from the cotton fields of Georgia, to factories in China, to the stores in North America – before you even put them on.
  • Many fashion items are contaminated with pesticides, insecticides, toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, flame retardants, lead, and other carcinogens.

Working Conditions:

  • Hourly wages in garment factories around the world are often less than 82 ¢ (CAD).
  • Beading and sequins on fast fashion items are a sign of child slave labor.
  • In May 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh catastrophically collapsed, killing over 1,100 workers and injuring at least 2,000 others, becoming the worst industrial disaster to date. This building was linked to over a dozen fast fashion companies.
  • In countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Thailand, many garment workers are forced to work anywhere from 10 to 16 hours a day without breaks and overtime pay.