How Fast Fashion Adds to the Global Waste Problem


  • Fast fashion is a major contributor to the global waste problem, as clothing is the fastest growing category of waste. Canadians are now buying 400% more clothes, and Americans 500% more, than in the 1980s, and an estimated 85% of donated clothes end up in landfills
  • Many textiles don’t biodegrade well due to the synthetic fibers used. Chemicals and toxic dyes are also released, adding to our global water pollution problem
  • Several major fashion brands have started take-back programs that promise to recycle your old duds. However, only 1% are actually made into new clothes
  • Take-back programs also promote buying more new stuff by offering discounts on new purchases. Critics say these programs are greenwashing as they do nothing to address the root causes of our growing textile waste problem
  • Fast fashion retailers make too many clothes and sell them too inexpensively. The poor quality makes the clothes disposable, and a little back-end recycling is circumventing rather than addressing these issues

Continue reading