The meteoric rise of fast fashion is proving to be toxic for the environment. Fast fashion is the business of quickly turning around new collections, often at lower prices to encourage consumption. Twenty-five million pounds of clothing are thrown out in the US a year, and most of it has not reached its usable life. Linear systems use large quantities of nonrenewable resources, and more than half of these styles get tossed within a year. The apparel and footwear industries together account for more than eight per cent of global climate impacts. Total greenhouse gas emissions related to textiles production are equal to 1.2 billion tons annually -- more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping trips combined.
Circular fashion is catching up fast. It refers to extending the lifecycle of well-made garments and recycling their materials into new items. This trend is gaining traction as both designers and consumers become increasingly aware of the toll linear clothing production takes on the environment. Fashion’s carbon impact is much larger than the industry’s GDP.
Designers are working on timeless pieces intended to outlast trends, working with environmentally friendly fabrics and mills. Prizing variety, affordability and sustainability, consumers are increasingly choosing to rent rather than own goods outright.