What is fast fashion?
Do you buy secondhand? Vintage boutiques, charity shops, eBay, Facebook Marketplace – not only is shopping secondhand in style, its great for our society and the environment.
In the late 1990s and 2000s, low-cost fashion really started to become accessible. Online shopping took off, and fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Zara, and Topshop took over the high street. These brands took the looks and design elements from the top fashion houses and reproduced them quickly and cheaply. With everyone now able to shop for on-trend clothes whenever they wanted, it’s easy to understand how the phenomenon caught on. But, Fast fashion accounts for 10% of the ALL carbon emissions in the world. It’s the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture.
Fast fashion’s impact on the planet is immense. The pressure to reduce costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are more likely to be cut. Fast fashion’s negative impact includes its use of cheap, toxic textile dyes—making the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture. That’s why Greenpeace has been pressuring brands to remove dangerous chemicals from their supply chains through its detoxing fashion campaigns through the years.
Cheap textiles also increase fast fashion’s impact. Polyester is one of the most popular fabrics. It is derived from fossil fuels, contributes to global warming, and can shed microfibres that add to the increasing levels of plastic in our oceans when washed. But even ‘natural fabrics’ can be a problem at the scale fast fashion demands. Conventional cotton requires enormous quantities of water and pesticides in developing countries. This results in drought risks and creates extreme stress on water basins and competition for resources between companies and local communities.
The constant speed and demand mean increased stress on other environmental areas such as land clearing, biodiversity, and soil quality. The processing of leather also impacts the environment, with 300kg of chemicals added to every 900kg of animal hides tanned.
The speed at which garments are produced also means that more and more clothes are disposed of by consumers, creating massive textile waste. In Australia alone, more than 500 million kilos of unwanted clothing ends up in landfill every year.
As well as the environmental cost of fast fashion, there’s a human cost.
Fast fashion impacts garment workers who work in dangerous environments, for low wages, and without fundamental human rights. Further down the supply chain, the farmers may work with toxic chemicals and brutal practices that can have devastating impacts on their physical and mental health, a plight highlighted by the documentary The True Cost.
In 2013, the world had a reality check when the Rana Plaza clothing manufacturing complex in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,000 workers. That’s when consumers really started questioning fast fashion and wondering at the true cost of those £3 t-shirts.
Join our preloved pop-up
The simplest and most accessible way to disrupt fast fashion is shopping for secondhand items. Whether that is clothes, shoes, accessories or homewares, passing on our unwanted items prolongs their active life and reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.
Isn’t it nicer to think of the items you no longer need going on to continue their journey with someone new, rather than being discarded?
Selling your unwanted items is also a great way to make a bit of extra cash, your clothes can’t make you money hanging unloved in your wardrobe after all…
To join in, you just need to book a table (£5) and come along with your priced up items. We’ll provide you with a table and chair to set-up your stall and then you are in charge of all money that changes hands, hopefully leaving with a lighter load and pockets full of profit. If you would like to bring your own small clothes rail, please let us know via the sign-up form so we can alloate you more space.
You can sell any items you wish from clothing to kitchenware, but be aware that things are unlikely to sell if they are damaged or soiled.
Entry is FREE for shoppers, so come and browse and pick up some bargains. Shopping secondhand is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save yourself some money. There will be refreshments available including tea, coffee, soft drinks and cakes to raise money for Feeding-friendly Cheltenham. There is plenty of parking at Leckhampton Village Hall and the venue is pram and wheelchair accessible.
Leckhampton Village Hall
Saturday 11th September
09:30 – 11:30
£5 per table
Available to purchase
Saving the planet while raising funds
As well as helping save items from landfill, this event is also fundraising for the Feeding-friendly Cheltenham campaign. Since launching in May, the campaign has got off to a flying start with a whole host of businesses signed-up and actively supporting parents to feed their children.
To continue rolling out the project we need to be able to fund the production and delivery of more stickers and information. The campaign is free to join and use, but there are costs that we need to cover. This event will help to expand the scheme and spread the word to a wider area.