The fast fashion industry has been under greater scrutiny as more consumers become aware of its detrimental environmental impacts. Relying on cheap and rapid production and distribution of low-quality clothing, fast fashion not only generates 92 million tons of clothing and textile waste every year, which is equivalent to one and a half Empire State Buildings a year but produces more carbon emissions than aviation and shipping sectors combined. What’s more, 20% of global wastewater comes from textile dyeing needed to support the fast fashion industry. While consumers can enjoy low-priced clothing from fast fashion giants such as Zara, Forever 21, and H&M, the trend comes at a cost: garment workers are more often than not receiving unfair wages and working in poor labour conditions. Aside from these worrying statistics, here are some notable fast fashion quotes that spur you into action.
20 Fast Fashion Quotes
1.“Fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.” – Livia Firth, co-founder and creative director of Eco-Age, a leading consulting and creative agency specialised in integrated sustainability.
2. “Fast fashion is not free. Someone, somewhere is paying the price.” – Lucy Siegle, British journalist and writer who specialises in environmental issues.
3. “As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy” – Emma Watson, actress and environmental activist.
4. “When an industry doesn’t care about how people are treated, no consideration of sustainability is possible. You can’t just care about the environment and forget about the fair and ethical treatment of people.” – Simone Cipriani, an officer of the United Nations who created and manages the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the WTO.
5. “Next to oil, fashion in its broadest sense, fast fashion, to leather to denim, is the next biggest industrial polluter of the world’s waterways.” – Filmmaker Mark Angelo in his documentary, RiverBlue.
6. “If you pay a little more, we can live a little better.” – Sharti Atka, garment worker from Bangladesh.
If you like these fast fashion quotes, you might be interested: 7 Fast Fashion Companies Responsible for Environmental Pollution
7. “What if we started by slowing down and not consuming so much stuff, just because it’s there and cheap and available. It’s amazing how that process makes sense financially, it makes sense ethically, it makes sense environmentally.” – Andrew Morgan, filmmaker and director of The True Cost.
8. “Fashion’s negligence to provide a living wage is especially concerning when considering that fact the United Nations has declared it a basic human right.” – Patrick Woodyard, Co-Founder & CEO of Nisolo, an online retailer that emphasises on providing fair wages.
9. “Demand quality, not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.” – Orsola de Castro, an upcyclist, fashion designer, author, and co-founder of Fashion Revolution, an activism movement which works towards a sustainable fashion industry.
10. “Cheap consumer products are sold to us as some grand achievement of globalisation, but they’ve come at the price of middle-class jobs, craftsmanship and stable communities.” – Elizabeth L Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
11. “When you buy into fast fashion, no matter how many times you wash your clothes they will never be truly clean. They’re stained by the sweat of those who made them, and the footprint it leaves on this planet.” – Laura François, social impact strategist and social entrepreneur behind organisations including Clothing the Loop and Fashion Revolution.
12. “One day we’ll wake up and green will not be the new black, it will be the new invisible. Meaning, no longer will sustainable be the exception or something that’s considered au courant; instead it will be a matter of course – something that all designers incorporate into their design ethos.” – Summer Rayne Oakes, known as the world’s first “eco-model”, entrepreneur, and author of Style, Naturally.
13. “Cheap fashion is really far from that, it may be cheap in terms of the financial cost, but very expensive when it comes to the environment and the cost of human life.” – Sass Brown, author of ECO Fashion.
14. “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last” – Vivienne Westwood, English fashion designer and businesswoman.
15. “Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear” – Elizabeth L Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
16. “Realise the political power of your money and spend it with the brands you know are treating their workers and the environment in the best possible way” – Lily Cole, Model and entrepreneur
17. “Become an active citizen through your wardrobe.” – Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age.
18. “No one wants to wear clothes that were made from someone’s blood” – Amber Valetta, Model and entrepreneur (Vogue 2015).
19. “What is ethical fashion? It’s a confusing term. Sometimes it’s easier to define by what it isn’t – and unfortunately that is most of what can be found on the high street. Unethical fashion means very very little transparency, accountability and knowledge of the supply chain. It means demands of very quick lead times and production turnaround. It means producers played off against each other. It means a wage that doesn’t even afford the worker an adequate salary for two meals a day.”– Safia Minney, fair trade fashion pioneer, author and founder of People Tree
20. “Becoming more mindful about clothing means looking at every fibre, at every seed and every dye and seeing how to make it better. We don’t want sustainability to be our edge, we want it to be universal.” – Eileen Fisher, fashion designer