Is Burning Old Garments Normal in Fast Fashion?

Fashion has long been an enormous industry, yet also one of the greatest polluters worldwide. Fashion manufacturers consume vast quantities of water and dyes and emit greenhouse gases at alarming rates; furthermore, workers in developing nations may be exploited as part of this industry – leading many critics to condemn its negative impacts on people and planet alike.

But there is an alternative. The fashion industry is shifting toward a circular economy, where resources are reused rather than extracted and then disposed of after they have served their purpose. Shein and Reformation are leading this shift toward making their entire supply chains more eco-friendly.

These companies still have much work to do. They must strive to increase the longevity and durability of their clothing lines in order to reduce customers’ need to purchase new items, thus decreasing waste production. Furthermore, they must address microfibre pollution that pollutes oceans while being consumed by humans.

Companies should invest in ethical manufacturing practices and work with suppliers that pay their workers decent wages. Furthermore, it’s imperative that they are transparent with consumers regarding issues surrounding their business practices and effectively communicate any concerns to them.

As long as fashion remains an environmental problem, we should prevent its proliferation through non-consumptive spending habits such as fast fashion stores. Instead, we can wear what clothing pieces we already possess instead.

Fast fashion brands often dispose of unsold inventory by burning or shredding it, as Timo Rissasen points out. Burning clothes is often cheaper than shipping them to garment recycling centres and it also helps avoid paying inventory tax; which is a fee charged against business owners for items left unsold at year’s end.

Landfills may seem like the answer, but this option is not the best choice for our environment. Landfilling clothes can lead to soil and water contamination and cause fires. According to WRAP reports, clothing that has been abandoned poses an environmental risk as well as threats to public health due to chemicals and toxins it contains; especially within low-income communities where their effects may be more noticeable.

As individuals, we should stop supporting fast fashion companies and instead invest our money in companies committed to sustainable future. You can see which companies are doing this by visiting WRAP website; in addition there are plenty of ways you can make your clothing more sustainable such as purchasing second hand and upcycling old items.