Expert Comment: Fast fashion craze damaging the planet
As cost-of-living pressures intensify, Australians are tightening their belts, but experts warn buying cheaper alternatives often comes at a high price.
The rise of fast fashion over the past decade has seen an influx of high-end looks at affordable prices as popular brands flood the market, but mass-produced designs may be harming the environment.
Each year, Australians purchase on average 27kg of new clothing and discard about 23kg to landfill, according to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
In Victoria alone, each person creates about 28kg of textile waste per year, and across all states roughly 95 per cent of clothes sent to landfill could have been reused or recycled.
Made mostly of polyester and cotton, fast fashion and its supply chain produces up to eight per cent of global carbon emissions, according to the United Nations environment program.
The ABS estimates Australians spent $38.5 billion on clothing and footwear in 2021.
As consumers become aware of unethical business practices, more brands are embracing sustainability.
Buying behaviour has shifted in recent years, branding expert Nicole Reaney of InsideOut PR said.
“As more businesses embrace the issue through sustainable strategies, others are pressured to do the same.
“Businesses that do not adapt potentially face image, reputation and customer impacts.”
While this pressure has resulted in some brands offering sustainable solutions, others have resorted to questionable tactics.
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Nicole Reaney, Director of InsideOut PR and founder of influencer agency, #AsSeenOn. Nicole has extensive experience in corporate and consumer PR and Communications and is available to comment on topics.