A community of educators empowering students to take climate action

No Translation

UK Schools Sustainability Network

No Translation

< Back

The Problem with Fast Fashion
Posted by : Buckinghamshire Schools Sustainability Network

It’s pretty hard not to have heard about how unsustainable fast fashion is, and all the damage it creates. The fashion industry contributes 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that’s just one facet of its environmental harm. After a devastating production process, lots of us don’t seem to even appreciate our items: in the UK alone, we dump 350,000 tonnes of clothing into landfill every year, a weight equivalent to that of the entire Empire State Building. It’s not just the alarming environmental impact, ethical issues are also a matter of concern. The fashion industry is the largest employer of women globally, but less than 2% of employees earn a living wage, and unsafe working conditions are a common story. Whether we focus on its environmental impact, or the ethical toll it takes, affecting the lives of millions, it is pretty clear to see that smarter fashion choices are appropriate.


Naturally, we all want to do our best to alleviate these issues, and feel good about our purchases, but adopting the right approach doesn’t always feel so simple. Here are our suggestions:


  • Buy with purpose

This consume-less approach means fewer items are purchased in the first place, and fewer end up in landfill. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I really need this item? Is there something similar at home? Do I see myself wearing it often? Is it my favourite celebrity that likes this, or me?


  • Buy from sustainable companies

With their not-so-cheap price tags, purchasing from sustainable fashion brands might seem unachievable with your budget, but remember: fast fashion is built to fall apart; sustainable fashion is an investment, designed to last. Buying from sustainable companies (such as those involved in the Better Cotton Initiative, or Certified B Corporations) are a great way to ensure you limit your environmental footprint.


  • Mend it

Mending old clothes is not only an eco-friendly choice, but also a chance to be creative and put your textiles skills to the test.


  • Borrow it

Your friends are a good resource – why not have fun borrowing from each other?


  • Buy second-hand

Perhaps consider your local charity shops. You can find some bargains, whilst doing your bit to help charities in need. If charity shops aren’t your thing, clothes exchanges such as ReLove Our Stuff, at school, are an enjoyable and sustainable alternative to fast fashion too.


By Lizzie Year 13, Buckinghamshire Network



If you would like to know more about Transform Our World, or any of our programmes, please get in touch.


Please detail your enquiry here

Thank you for submitting your enquiry! We are currently receiving a large number of enquiries and are trying our best to get back to people as soon as possible. In the meantime, you might find one of the following links helpful: 


Transform Our World Youth Summit

Access catch up content from the Transform Our World Youth Summit


As a Transform Our World user, you can access the content from the Transform Our World Youth Summit and catch up on the content across three themed days, looking at individual actions we can do, people in power we can influence and the importance of living our true values.  


Follow the links below and check out the timestamp guide to navigate the content.



Catch up on Action Day


Catch up on Power Day


Catch up on Values Day


General Transform Our World 
  • Are you a teacher? Learn about how to use the website here
  • Looking for teaching resources? You can find our collection of highly-rated resources here
  • Looking for something more long-term? Check out our featured programmes here
  • Want to see what other schools have been up to? Have a read of some case studies here
  • Alternatively, take a look at our FAQs and About pages as they might help to answer your question(s). 


All the best,  

The Transform Our World team

Transform Our World

is brought to you by