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Fast Fashion, Big Impact

Kennedy Ryan, Anchor Staff

College students love fashion. However, fast fashion is becoming a growing problem throughout the industry. With college students being constantly surrounded by social media influence, trends are always changing. As a result, college students feel they must keep up, purchasing new clothing items often. Little do they know, the effects of fast fashion are making a negative impact on the environment. 
In the past, fashion trends were cycled by season. Fall, spring, winter and summer were the times of year that people visited shops, purchasing their clothing periodically. However, the popularity of fast fashion has increased the cycle, making the clothing lines switch out their clothing every four to six weeks. We now consume over 80 billion items of clothing a year. Due to this, companies are able to create cheaper materials for a cheaper price. Consumers are able to purchase items for a low cost; also giving them the ability to purchase more frequently. Popular brands like H&M, Zara and Target are big contributors to this problem.
As a result of this, waste is piling up. According to the University of Queensland, fashion leftovers are the second biggest contributor of waste right behind oil. The creation of these clothes depletes natural resources. In response to the following of trends, people often send old clothing to the landfill after the items are no longer in style. Some items, made from forms of plastic, can take thousands of years to biodegrade. This cycle is destroying the environment. However, there are ways that consumers can change. 
If college students want to take action, there are ways to help. Purchasing quality clothing made of recycled materials can decrease the need for frequent purchases. For those who wish to try new trends, thrift shopping is a great option. By purchasing second hand clothing, items get a second life and avoid getting put into a landfill. In addition, donating clothing to second hand shops or sharing clothing with friends can decrease your impact on the environment. Overall, not purchasing fast fashion items can benefit the environment and lower the amount of waste created every ye