How are jeans produced?
Most denim used to be produced in the USA but now it is produced overseas in developing nations. This may seem like an opportunity cost for the USA but it comes at a human and environmental cost. Manufacturing moving overseas increased the popularity of what is now referred to as "fast fashion". Fast fashion is a contemporary term used by fashion retailers to express that designs move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends but it has quickly becomes fast, disposable, and cheap.
Why should you rethink fast fashion?
The workers overseas are being exploited. The enormous industry makes so much profit for so many people but fails to guarantee safety or support millions of its workers. On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Fast fashion is environmentally dangerous. Most of the cotton grown is genetically modified and so high in demand that massive amounts of water and pesticides are needed.
Fast fashion winds up costing more than "real clothes". It fools you into thinking that you are spending less money on more clothing when in reality, you are purchasing items over and over. The fashion industry is designed to make you feel "out of trend" every week. Companies are set up to deliberately make the customer feel off-trend after the first wear.
Why should this concern me?
Lack of transparency and traceability costs lives. Transparency is essential because companies need to respect human rights and ensure that the environment is not being destroyed. Transparency means companies know who makes their clothes and under what conditions in order to communicate this to the public, to their shareholders, staff and the people across their supply chain. Fast fashions needs to be revolutionized in order to protect the environment and its workers and consumers.