We live in a fast world. Fast communication, fast food, and fast fashion. When we want to chat with a friend, we usually can within minutes or even seconds. When we want to post an update on our lives, we can do so in only 250 characters. And when we want to buy something new, all it takes is pressing the BUY NOW button on our phones. We don’t have to leave the couch to shop online. Like never before, we have fashion at our fingertips. Literally.
While the allure of immediacy is addicting, it comes at a high cost. Shopping fast fashion is just as quickly harming our environment as well as our wallets.
Research shows that each year, the demand for clothing-production increases by 2%. While this may seem small, its impact is far-reaching because there is also a rise in destruction with the surge in demand. This same study suggests that since 2005, the average garment-use time has fallen by 36%. Similarly, between 1999-2009, there has been a 40% increase in textile waste in landfills (Niinimaki et al., 2020). This combination of demand to deadstock to discard, from both consumers and companies, is lethal for our environment.
Part of what fast fashion breeds off of are our desire for instant gratification. In a world where we text, stream, video, photograph, and communicate at unimaginable speeds, we expect our style to be no exception. But shopping sustainably and stylishly are not mutually exclusive. We can cultivate unique closets in an eco-conscious way without sacrificing individuality or quality.
One way to do this is through the practice of upcycling. This is a process that utilizes discarded or worn materials and transforms them into wearable and usable products. Upcycling addresses our demand for new items on the market while taking on textile waste. This helps our environment two-fold: one, it prevents deadstock from entering landfills, and two, it cuts down on the energy, water, and textiles used in the production process. Creativity and craftsmanship are two pillars of upcycling, providing designers and consumers alike with an opportunity to showcase their individuality and ingenuity.
As we step forward with an eco-conscious mindset, we must address the perils of fast fashion and begin to shop smarter. Our world needs us, as brands and shoppers, to take better care of our environment. We can start to do so — without giving up the products and styles we love — through upcycling.
Reborn is a one-stop-shop for this process, providing many different products, garments, and unique goods. We create with deadstock and design with care, bringing cutting-edge and eco-conscious products to our customers. Whether it’s your closet or your inventory warehouse, change starts from re-thinking how we can find alternative ways to keep textiles out of our landfills. Our team is here to discover custom solutions for you to make this impactful shift. Contact us today; let’s work together to inspire real change tomorrow.
Niinimaki et. al (2020, April). The environmental price of fast fashion. Nature. https://go.nature.com/3ll2ng2