For an industry that produces the second highest amount of pollution each year, the textile industry brings consumers an astoundingly low amount of joy.
Perhaps you have stood in front of a full closet and thought, “Wow. I have nothing to wear.” We have taken our relationship with clothing from being a necessity to being an unhealthy obsession. Instead of purchasing items that are designed for our individual lifestyles, we are irresistibly drawn into the lies perpetuated by an industry fueled by the sacred dollar sign. We indulge in trendy items with faulty design (partially the result of having 52 fashion seasons in a year) or clothing that is constructed for a body type that doesn’t represent the majority of Americans.
Consumer satisfaction does not justify the amount of pollution generated by the textile industry.
Most clothing, especially within the realm of fast fashion, is created for tall, slim, hourglass shaped bodies. This is the current “beauty standard” in the Unites States and today’s fashions almost exclusively compliment that specific body type. The problem is that this “standard” only encapsulates a tiny percentage of American women, so we are compelled to purchase clothing that doesn’t compliment our unique body types.
With the rise of fast fashion, the quality of the clothing we buy has plummeted. Clothing is made to be worn six times, then tossed away. This creates massive landfill, but it also fuels discontentment because substandard clothing is not (typically) flattering, durable, or comfortable.
When consumers purchase clothing that is not created to suit them or their lifestyles, it leads to discontentment. The current standard of fast fashion and the textile industry in general does not support it’s consumers’ lifestyles. This fosters an attitude of perpetual need, which results in consumers pouring an enormous amount of money and energy into clothing that will not bring them satisfaction.
The textile industry produces the second highest amount of pollution in the world. But for an industry that brings us, the consumers, so little satisfaction, perhaps this is unreasonable. We need clothes, but the textile industry is not delivering in a way that is efficiently fulfilling our need. The obnoxious amount of pollution generated by the textile industry is not justified because it is not satisfying US, the consumers.
We can’t change the textile industry overnight, but as consumers we can make a positive impact. Let’s use our purchasing power with care and avoid companies that are operated by standards beyond dollar signs; companies who care about their employees, take pride in their products, and are conscious of their pollution and waste.