Fast Fashion – The Shady World of Cheap Clothing | Highlights | DW

But economic leaders come with a high price: a precarious existence for workers and a catastrophic environmental impact.

The apparel industry is currently flooding the planet with clothing. With 100 billion items produced every year, that’s more than ever. International companies are locked in an ongoing race to create new styles and make more profits. And this gigantic expansion is set to continue: the sector is expected to grow by 60% by 2030.

Spanish clothing chain Zara

On the one hand, fast fashion means clothes that are affordable for everyone. Zara is known as the original fast fashion brand. The Spanish clothing giant creates 65,000 new styles every year.

Fast Fashion Documentation - the dark world of cheap fashion

Shopping for clothes has become a real leisure activity fueled by social media: half of all posts on Instagram are related to fashion and beauty. This is how fast fashion market leaders influence the buying behavior of their customers, supported by leading neuromarketing specialists.

Fast Fashion Documentation - the dark world of cheap fashion

Fast fashion profits from e-commerce. You no longer have to try on clothes in the shop, the customer orders online and has the garment delivered – and if they don’t like it, they send it back. Disposable clothes and disposable jobs: carried out by an army of couriers within the precarious gig economy.

Fast Fashion Documentation - the dark world of cheap fashion

The textile industry is the sector with the second highest environmental price in the world. The material preferred by fast fashion manufacturers – viscose made from wood fibers – is marketed as a climate-friendly alternative. But the production of this fabric uses a whole range of chemicals. This leads to serious health problems, not only for those who work in the factories, but also for the people living nearby, for example in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Fast Fashion Documentation - the dark world of cheap fashion

Four million tonnes of clothing ends up in the trash every year in Europe. Less than one percent of this is recycled. The fashion industry loves to flaunt its sustainability credentials, but the reality is just the opposite.

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COLLECTION 10.02.2022 – 01:15 UTC
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COLLECTION 10.02.2022 – 18:15 UTC
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