Fast fashion has become synonymous with convenience and affordability, but behind the glitz and glamour lies a dark reality of environmental degradation and ethical dilemmas.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and is responsible for about 10% of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Unfortunately, fast fashion problems are often overlooked by consumers.

In recent years, the fashion industry has faced increasing scrutiny for its unsustainable practices and exploitative labor conditions. From the rise of global fashion giants to the proliferation of online shopping platforms, the demand for trendy clothing at rock-bottom prices has fueled a culture of disposability and disregard for the planet and its people.

Environmental and Ethical Implications

The Environmental Impact

One of the most significant consequences of fast fashion is its staggering environmental footprint. The industry is a top contributor to pollution, with textile dyeing and treatment accounting for 20% of global industrial water pollution. Moreover, the production of synthetic fibers like polyester releases harmful microplastics into the environment, further exacerbating the plastic crisis.

Water Consumption 

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest consumer of water globally? It's true. Producing just one cotton shirt requires about 700 gallons of water, while a single pair of jeans guzzles a whopping 2,000 gallons. These figures are not only staggering but also deeply concerning, especially considering the increasing strain on freshwater resources worldwide.

But the water woes don't end there. Textile dyeing, a crucial step in the production process, is also a major contributor to water pollution. In fact, it's the world's second-largest polluter of water. The chemicals used in the dyeing process often end up in rivers, streams, and other water bodies, contaminating aquatic ecosystems and endangering the health of both people and wildlife.

Additionally, the fast fashion model relies on cheap, disposable clothing, leading to massive amounts of textile waste. In fact, it's estimated that the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is dumped or burned every second.

As consumers, it's crucial that we understand the true cost of our clothing choices and demand greater transparency and accountability from the fashion industry.


Materials: Microplastics

Furthermore, brands use synthetic fibres like polyester, nylon and acrylic which take hundreds of years to biodegrade. A 2017 report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated that 35% of all microplastics – tiny pieces of non-biodegradable plastic – in the ocean come from the laundering of synthetic textiles like polyester.

According to the documentary released in 2015, The True Cost, the world consumes around 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year, 400% more than the consumption twenty years ago. The average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. The production of leather requires large amounts of feed, land, water and fossil fuels to raise livestock, while the tanning process is among the most toxic in all of the fashion supply chain because the chemicals used to tan leather- including mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives and various oils and dyes- is not biodegradable and contaminates water sources.

As Bebekish, what do we do about this? 

💧 Our commitment to sustainability begins with our materials. We carefully source organic cotton and bamboo, ensuring that our products are gentle on the environment and safe for your baby's delicate skin

Water-Efficient Production Processes: We invest in water-efficient production methods and technologies to minimise water usage throughout our manufacturing process. This includes implementing closed-loop systems for water recycling and using eco-friendly dyeing techniques that require less water.

Responsible Supply Chain Management: We work closely with our suppliers to ensure responsible water management practices are upheld at every stage of the supply chain. This includes promoting water conservation measures and supporting initiatives to reduce water pollution.

Consumer Education: We believe in the power of education to drive change. Through our marketing and communication efforts, we educate our customers about the water footprint of fast fashion and empower them to make more sustainable choices.

Continuous Improvement: We are committed to continuously improving our sustainability practices and reducing our environmental impact. This includes regularly monitoring and evaluating our water usage, implementing new technologies and strategies, and seeking out innovative solutions to minimize our footprint.

Energy Consumption 

The production of plastic fibers used in textiles is highly energy-intensive and relies heavily on petroleum, leading to significant environmental impact. This process releases volatile particulate matter and acids like hydrogen chloride, contributing to air and water pollution.

Moreover, conventional cotton, commonly used in fast fashion products, poses its own environmental challenges. The intensive use of pesticides in cotton cultivation not only harms ecosystems but also presents health risks to farmers and surrounding communities.

What can we do about this? 

To address the waste generated by fast fashion and reduce its environmental footprint, it's essential to explore more sustainable fabric alternatives. These include wild silk, organic cotton, bamboo, linen, hemp, and lyocell, which offer eco-friendly options for clothing production.

By prioritiSing these materials, we can move towards a fashion industry that is both stylish and environmentally responsible


2) The Human Cost

Beyond its environmental impact, fast fashion also takes a toll on human lives. Many garment workers, predominantly women, toil in sweatshops under grueling conditions, earning poverty wages and facing exploitation and abuse. From unsafe working conditions to forced overtime and denial of basic rights, the human cost of fast fashion is steep.

Moreover, the relentless pursuit of ever-cheaper labor has led to the outsourcing of production to countries with lax labor laws, where workers are often denied their fundamental rights.

👩‍🔧 We also prioritise ethical production practices. Unlike fast fashion brands that rely on sweatshop labor and exploitation, we work with trusted partners who uphold fair labor standards and treat their workers with dignity and respect.

3) The Need for Change

In the face of these challenges, there is a growing movement calling for a shift towards a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry. Consumers are increasingly demanding transparency and accountability from brands, pushing for greater awareness of the true cost of fast fashion. From boycotting unethical brands to supporting sustainable alternatives, individuals are using their purchasing power to drive change. At the same time, governments and regulatory bodies are beginning to take action, implementing stricter regulations and holding companies accountable for their environmental and social impact.

The rise of fast fashion has come at a high cost to both the planet and its people. From environmental degradation to human rights abuses, the consequences of our throwaway culture are undeniable.

However, there is hope on the horizon. By raising awareness, demanding transparency, and supporting ethical and sustainable fashion brands, we can collectively work towards a future where fashion is not only beautiful but also responsible and ethical.

Together, let's fashion a better world for generations to come. Join us in our mission to make a positive impact on the fashion industry and the planet!