We live in a society preoccupied with looking good. What is the price of looking good? In this episode, I discuss the phenomenon of Fast Fashion and why it should be avoided.
Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, a 50 something who is super amped to talk to you about life, love, and a smattering of other topics. I don't consider myself a fashionista, but I do love clothes. I like to wear nice things that are reasonably priced. I am not the girl who will have a $1,000 handbag or $800 shoes. I am not knocking anyone if that is your jam, but it's just not me. This evening, though I'm not really focusing on the high-dollar retail sector. I want to talk about the phenomenon of fast fashion. It is all around us, and there are some brands that have skyrocketed in sales in the last few years because of YouTube and Instagram influencers promoting their products. I am not going to single out any one brand or influencer, for that matter. I want to talk about this phenomenon as a whole, and how it impacts people and our planet.
You scroll through a website, and you cannot believe there's an ad for a tie-dye shirt that is $1.99, but it never enters your mind about how a whole article of clothing that had to be assembled could be so cheap. You are focused on what number of these $1 and the 99 cent gems you can add to your wardrobe. That is the allure of Fast Fashion, but your blessing is someone else's curse. Fast Fashion is all the rage right now and for good reason. Great looking clothes and affordable prices are an awesome combination. I'm always looking for great deals on great clothes. The problem is a lot of Fast Fashion is a great deal, but the clothes don't last. People will wear a garment a few times get, bored with it, or just does not hold up to laundering. Then in the trash, it goes. It is estimated that globally we throw away 13 million tons of textile waste each year. One person alone throws about 70 pounds away. The sad part is that about 95% of what we throw away could be recycled. We have doubled the number of clothes we throw away in the last 20 years. You know many of us have a cotton shirt. It is a wardrobe staple for me. What I didn't know is that it takes about 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt. So, when textile waste is up in landfills, it can take up to 200 years for textiles to decompose. Environmental concerns are not my only issue. Fast Fashion's toll on people can be frightening as well. In some areas of the world, women are not able to escape poverty because they're being exploited by major fashion brands that want to keep production costs low. Women are not paid a living wage and toiling for hours on end doesn't make ends meet. The lack of rights of garment workers is despicable. In one instance, factory workers in India requested clean water in a letter sent to management. These workers were beaten and had their clothes torn. This sent the message," You have no right to ask for your rights."
I don't know if you guys remember the 2013 tragedy of the Rana Plaza building workers pleaded with bosses to not have to enter the building because the danger was visible, huge cracks were a hint the building was not structurally sound, hundreds of lives were lost in necessity tragically senseless tragedy fueled by greed.
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Back to the topic at hand. All companies don't participate in activities that negatively impact our planet or people. I'm making it my business to support and shop at companies that promote a living wage for workers and responsibility towards our home, the earth. I'm going to recommend a few companies that strive to make ethical clothing. Are you going to find that $1.99 tie-dye shirt? I don't have the hook up on that, but secondhand stores might be a good option for that. I put links in my show notes for the brands I'm highlighting tonight. First up, Made Trade. This brand has a range of prices from under $50 to items over 500 It is a very inclusive brand and you will see models of all shapes, colors, and sizes on their website. The size ranges from extra small to 6XL. Secondly, PACT is a great shopping experience if you're looking for pajamas, loungewear, and casual clothes for people in the family. Third, I love the company For Days, because it offers upcycled fashions. The size range is from extra small to XL and the clothes are very stylish. The last brand I want to highlight is Threads4Thought. I like the fact this retailer offers clothes for the whole family and home goods. The online site offers clothing ranging from extra small to 2XL. There are many influencers who are peddling fast fashion to unsuspecting followers, maybe they are not aware themselves as to why the clothes they are being sent to advertise for major retailers are so cheap. No one's being paid a living wage for the $1.99 tie-dye t-shirt. I am committed to avoiding Fast Fashion, and I hope that many of you will do the same. If we work together, we can improve the lives of people we don't even know, but we know they matter.
Thanks for listening this evening. As always, I wish you good health, good fortune, and a good night, Cocoa Griot out!