More and more researchers highlight the serious environmental consequences of our addiction to fast fashion. Environmental impacts of overconsumption are growing every year. Synthetic fibers, factories polluting rivers and oceans, high levels of energy use, microplastics release in our house waterways, all these contribute to about 6% of global annual CO2 emissions and 10 to 20 percent of pesticide use.
The average person buys 60% more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste. (source).
Our behaviors depend on many factors such as the country we are born, a place we live in, material status, and gender. Merely, let’s consider average numbers to understand the full picture.
On average a US consumer purchases one mid-priced item of clothing per week and the same customer in the UK one per two weeks. This amounts to 17 billion kg of textile waste in the United States alone and 16 billion kg in Europe.
The average total life span of an active use of clothing is 3.3 years only. (source)
Imagine now a medium fashion influencer purchasing behavior and amount of paid and barter partnerships. Their job is built around the fashion industry, mid-season collections and new garments every week. They are more likely to dress an item only once or just for a post on social media. Literally, fashion brands spend more than $8 billion on influencers marketing including social media posts and the commissions influencers make through affiliate programs or paying only with free samples.
Social media and fashion bloggers overall influence 71% of consumer buying decisions what leads to impulsive purchasing behavior.
Unfortunately, our rising interest in fast fashion contributes to almost 2.3 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly what in its terms contribute to more than a 1.5 °C global temperature rise.
Increased heat – global warming – contributes to increasing wildfires, declining water supplies, reducing agricultural yields, as well as overall health impacts.
What if we would buy less? But what if we would not buy at all?
Now on the sustainability end, virtual fashion is the only effective solution to fight climate change. There is no issue of water consumption, gas emissions, and physical waste. There are no unethical supply chains and waste generated is calculated in coffee cups.
We are building our future.