Gen Z rejecting fast fashion, study finds

By ABBEY HALTER

COVID-19 has fast-tracked the beginning of the end of fast fashion for Generation Z, a new report has found.

Recycled clothes, buying less and a focus on sustainability was seen as increasingly important among those aged 18-24, according to research commissioned by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.

Fast fashion is clothing that has a rapid turnover rate in production and trade, with unworn or garments discarded and thrown into landfills at an alarming rate.

The fashion industry is now one of the biggest causes of pollution in the world, falling in second to oil, because of the development of fast fashion, according to a recent University of Queensland study.

The study found per head, an average Australian buys 27kg of textiles per year and then disposes of on average 23kg per person, per year.

When textiles then get to the point of being discarded, they take up to 15 per cent of landfills and can take more than 200 years to decompose while emitting harmful greenhouse gases.

In Australia, 85 per cent of sold textiles ends up being thrown away.

As a global community, humans consume approximately 80 billion pieces of new clothing each year, which is 400 per cent more than two decades ago.

According to the University of Queensland, the best way to end fast fashion is to recycle and repurpose old clothing, avoid cheap and synthetic garments and participate in purchasing pre-loved clothing through platforms such as Depop, Ebay and Etsy.

Read Abbey Halter’s profile on one woman’s vintage fashion passion

Fashion passion built on ethics, empowerment

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