In the evening show, Arjen Lubach regularly discusses social themes. This time with the environmental impact of so-called ‘fast fashion’. Young people are increasingly buying cheap clothes from web shops in China. This sounds like a nice piece of clothing for a few euros, but what impact does it have for the world.
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We buy too many clothes
It is a persistent misconception that clothes are cheap. The truth is that clothing is one of the most polluting and environmentally unfriendly products that we consume every day. And we are buying more and more clothes: in 1950 about 5 kilos of textiles were produced per person per year. By 2014, that number had risen to 32.5 kilograms. This not only has consequences for the environment, but also for the people who make the clothing.
Clothing production is one of the most polluting industries in the world and its water consumption is gigantic: to produce 1 kg of cotton, 10,000 liters of water are needed. In addition, many chemicals are used in making clothing, such as bleach and dyes containing lead. These substances often leak out and end up in rivers and the sea
Clothing is of increasingly poor quality
In recent years, the quality of clothing has continued to decline. This is because manufacturers try to produce as cheaply as possible. They use less durable fabrics and use poorer sewing techniques. This has a negative effect on the environment.
The problem is that people are buying more and more clothes and owning them for less time. This is also called ‘fast fashion’. Due to the low prices, people tend to buy something new more often instead of replacing or supplementing their existing wardrobe. This leads to a major waste problem, because after wearing it a few times, the quality of the clothing quickly deteriorates and it has to be thrown away.
To solve this problem, more sustainable clothing must be put on the market
Working conditions in the clothing industry
In the clothing industry, unsavory working conditions often become money. Workers in textile factories work for long hours for very little money in poor conditions. They use toxic chemicals and machines that make a lot of noise. This is not only bad for their health, but also for the environment.