CO2 Emissions: Are We Willing to Sacrifice Planet Earth For Our Favorite Celebrities?
By Sofia Randazzo
The fashion industry; a glamorous and fascinating world of wearable art. Clothing is now considerably more inexpensive and new trends appear every month. Shopping has now become a regular hobby for some people, rather than only shopping seasonally, people are shopping whenever they feel like it.
Celebrities make a huge impact on what we wear; Maddie from Euphoria, for example, made the internet go crazy over the black dress she wore in the first episode of season 2. Even Emma Chamberlain, a popular Youtuber, took over summer trends with her maxi skirt and everyday white tank ensemble. Although we all love these micro trends and buy into them to look like our favorite celebrities, they are causing more harm than good. Fast fashion brands must immediately jump on the most current fad to fit the wants and needs of the public. The fashion industry is a $2.5 trillion sector, and although wildly successful, it is the second biggest polluter on the entire planet. This is mainly due to the many rapidly growing and well-liked fast fashion apparel enterprises all over the world.
This begs the question, Are we willing to sacrifice planet earth for our favorite celebrities?
Fast fashion plays a big role in harming not only humans, but animals and wildlife with air pollution. In comparison to all flights and maritime shipping combined, the fashion industry continues to play the largest role in carbon emissions. According to statistics, if fast fashion keeps moving in this route, greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to rise by 50% in just 10 years. Greenhouse gasses are one of the most harmful forms of energy that can be produced into the air, in terms of carbon emissions.
Looking even farther into the future, “If the demand for fast fashion continues to grow at its current rate, we could see the total carbon footprint of our clothing reach 26% by 2050”, according to The Ethical Consumer and Greenpeace’s Journal, ‘Unearthed’. The chemicals and toxins in the air we breathe can bring very severe health effects. Simply from breathing this contaminated air some people might develop skin conditions including rashes, hives, boils, paralysis in their limbs, and even cancer.
Even worse, Forbes' James Conca noted that “cheap synthetic fibers also emit gasses like N2O, which is 300 times more damaging than CO2.” Consuming too much N2O too often can lead to even more life threatening conditions.
With the pollution that fast fashion factories cause, it releases damaging chemicals into the air that also leaves a large destructive footprint on our forests. With these chemicals in the air, it causes trees to die out, and start the deforestation process. Trees must need fresh CO2 in order to survive, provide food, and stop global warming. The trees are progressively dying because of the poisonous chemicals released into the air by greenhouses.
Fast fashion companies speed up the production process and make an absurd amount of items in order to keep up with each trend. This causes consumers and fashion brands to waste more and more.
Fast fashion textiles are primarily made of synthetic fibers and are chosen because they are inexpensive and easy to assemble. In light of this, almost all fabrics are non-biodegradable, meaning they cannot be broken down by living things. Mathilde Charpail, a professional with 10 years of supply chain, finance, and legal management experience stated, “synthetic fibers, such as polyester, are plastic fibers, therefore non-biodegradable and can take up to 200 years to decompose. Synthetic fibers are used in 72% of our clothing.”
While clothing is easily disposable, it is not easily decomposed. As a result of throwing away our clothes, fast fashion factories produce more textile waste. BWSS, Battered Women's Support Services, formed an organization called ‘My Sister's Closet’ to shift away from excess consumption, recognizing the role of textiles and the overarching degradation of the environment and looking at oppression and globalization. In a shocking statistic comparing the amount of textile waste that Americans produce it was found that the average American throws away around 60 pounds of clothing waste each year. To put that into perspective, there are billions of pounds of clothes being thrown away in America alone.
It may be exciting to purchase clothing from these budget-friendly retailers to stay on top of the latest trends, but when those trends fade, the apparel we once liked is dumped into a landfill, degrading our planet at an alarming rate. The best and most efficient ways to preserve our planet clean and healthy are to shop seasonally, buy secondhand and vintage items, and reuse and repurpose old and unwanted clothing.
So again we must ask ourselves, Are we willing to sacrifice planet earth for our favorite celebrities?