The environmental impact of fast fashion culture in the UK research proposal
Environmental impact of fast fashion culture in the UK
1. The need to execute awareness campaigns recognizing environment impacts of fast fashion by means of a case study analysis and longitudinal study measuring such impact of fast fashion to the UK environment
2. To be able to integrate preliminary literature review by engaging in a systematic research critique towards fast fashion culture and its associated impacts to the environment
3. The need to identify factors relating to UK fast fashion, the ways to preserve and keep the environment a healthy place to live and enjoy
4. To engage in a primary research investigation through survey questionnaire by using fast fashion consumers in UK and asking them questions in a statement like format of how fast fashion reality is affecting the environment nowadays, specific attention to environment based factors that allow an impact on its aspects and ways
5. There is a need to explore some of key dynamics of the UK fashion sector as an example of urban based, cultural economy comprising workforce as UK government celebrates the growth of the cultural economy
6. To investigate how consumers dispose of fashion products and how it might be possible to increase sustainable consumption of textiles
Five types of analyses will be outlined: (1) analyses of material culture as a type of text that expresses symbols and contributes to discourses and to environment repertoires (2) analyses of systems of fast fashion production in which symbolic values are attributed to UK fashion culture through the collective activities of members of fast fashion styles (3) analyses of environment factors of symbolic values associated with items of fashion culture and the processes whereby impacts are disseminated to consumers through media (4) analyses of the attribution of symbolic values to fashion culture effects by consumers and of their responses to environment changes (5) survey studies of environment valuation expressed by fast fashion goods and of culture system being attributed to UK fashion culture.
Fast fashion, a term that is regularly used and connected with the negative environmental and ethical aspects of the fashion industry. Recently, there has been an increased interest on the environmental impacts towards the consumer behaviour. Fast Fashion is term used to describe the cheap high fashion clothing, usually sold by high street retailers as UK retailers intend to stock new trends or lines each season, with fast fashion, they stock new trends each or even week as due to consumer buying behaviour is driven by both the reduction in the price of clothing and increased marketing of new trends and fashions. Fast fashion clothes are generally only worn a few times before being replaced by the latest trend.
The environmental impacts of fast fashion are well reported with the green house gas emissions, chemical pollution and landfill waste all being key issues. The growth of cotton, the most widely used natural fibre uses huge amounts of chemicals that are damaging to the health of the workers, the surrounding environment. Synthetic fibres like polyester which are regularly used for making 'fast fashion' clothes, require the use of vast amounts of petro chemicals and releasing all sorts of polluting chemicals that also present health risks for workers in the industry and those living in the vicinity. The manufacture of most textiles is an energy intensive process as being combined with the transport of textiles of products around the world produces even more green house gas emissions. As if that wasn't enough, there is also the problem of disposing of unwanted clothing as landfill in the UK is huge problem with textiles accounting for an estimated 30% of UK landfill waste each year. Synthetic textiles simply stay in the system and do not break down naturally. Even natural textiles pollute water systems with chemicals and dyes that are washed out by rain water, also produce methane, powerful greenhouse gas breakdown affecting the environment.
Whilst there are variety of eco textiles and brands with excellent environmental credentials now available, it is consumer behaviour that will need to change in order to reduce the impact of fashion and clothing on the environment. Fashion retailers are led by customer demand and will change their products and marketing strategies in response to change in consumer behaviour. We are starting to see a move in the right direction with key retailers such as Marks and Spencer's and Next all stocking organic and eco lines. Part of the problem is that neither manufacturers nor customers understand much about how the clothing industry degrades the environment. Significant environmental impact occurs from the harvesting of cotton or the manufacturing of synthetic fibers the production, packaging and transportation of the clothes; clothes washing and drying by the consumer, and disposal.
Fast fashion is when companies make large quantities of cheap clothes as fast and as cheaply as possible. In order to keep the cost of the clothes as low as possible, fast fashion items are often made in Asia and Africa and developing countries where labour costs are much cheaper than in UK. The Environmental Protection Agency considers many domestic textile manufacturing facilities to be hazardous waste generators; and lax standards and enforcement in developing countries, where the majority of textiles are produced, means that untold amounts of pollution are likely being deposited into local soils and waterways in regions that can hardly stand further environmental insult.