When was the last time you bought new clothes? Think about it: a wedding is coming up so you get a new dress for the occasion. Or there’s a party and you don’t have anything that will work. Or you just found a handful of T-shirts for only $5 each. At that price, who cares if you only wear them once?
We are slaves to fashion like never before. Australians, on average, buy 27 kilograms of clothing each year. And in the few minutes it will take you to read this, tonnes of clothing will be dumped into landfill.
Fast fashion – a term that refers to the speed with which designers churn out clothes and the speed with which we consume them – has become the beast that can’t be tamed. While fashion used to be defined by the seasons, clothes now move from catwalk to a store near you in a matter of weeks.
Elyse Stanes has just completed her PhD in the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities at UOW. She has spent the past four years investigating the environmental and ethical impacts of our clothing choices.
"Everything is faster now," Elyse says. "The average high street or chain stores brings out 12 seasons a year."
In this age of mass consumption, of mindless purchasing, what impact does fast fashion have on the world? And why should you care?
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