Student Project &
Research Symposium

Oral
Presentation

Student Project &
Research Symposium

Poster
Presentation

Student Project &
Research Symposium

Performance

Student Project &
Research Symposium

Exhibition

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM
College Center 310
The True Cost of Fast Fashion
Aynsley Ramsaur
Date:
April 22nd, 2022
Division:
Consumer and Health Sciences
Department:
Chemistry, Biology, Psychology
Mentor:
Amy Hellman
Mentor's e-mail:
ahellman@occ.cccd.edu
Author's e-mail:
aynsley2020@gmail.com
Presentation Slides
Abstract:

The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world, following closely behind the oil industry. Fast fashion is the term used to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to take advantage of trends. Consumer purchasing habits have led to 3.8 billion pounds of clothing being discarded in 2021 (Bick 2018). Only 15-20% of clothing is recycled annually; the rest are discarded into landfills around the world (Bailey 2022). Mass Market Retailers are able to cut costs by paying workers unlivable wages and using environmentally damaging dyes and inexpensive materials such as polyester and rayon. In this study, a literature review was conducted to gather information about the problematic environmental and ethical issues this industry generates. Using a variety of sources, such as GoodOnYou.com, I explored sustainability ratings for fashion companies, investigating supply chains, chemical usage and the working conditions of garment workers. I also gathered information from peer-reviewed articles on marketing tactics, as well as the severity of Fast Fashion waste and pollution problem. In addition, I created an anonymous online survey and distributed to OCC students to assess fashion purchasing habits and awareness of the environmental impact of the Fast Fashion industry. Out of 273 Respondents, 49% reported that they are aware of the global impacts and 39% reported that they would purchase Fast Fashion products anyway. Only 16% of respondents were completely willing to alter their shopping habits due to environmental concerns caused by Fast Fashion. It is very expensive to be a sustainable, ethical brand, and the Fast Fashion companies are not ready to decrease their profits.

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