Woman Holding Shopping Bag

How fast fashion is damaging both people and planet.

Fast fashion is something that we hear a lot about, but what is it and why it is bad?


The term ‘fast fashion’ is used to describe any form of fashion that is produced at high speed and low cost. It responds to current trends and aims to get garments from production to wardrobe in as little time as possible.

It has become a successful business model, with brands such as H&M and Zara introducing multiple new lines in any given week. But producing and consuming fashion in this way is having a detrimental effect on the planet.

The fashion industry accounts for approximately 10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of wastewater. In fact, it has a higher carbon footprint than maritime and aviation combined.

Carbon Emissions

Fast fashion garments are also lower quality, worn less and are discarded quickly, with an astonishing amount ending up in landfill having barely been used.

“Each year millions of tonnes of clothes are produced, worn and thrown away. Every second, the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill. The fashion industry is one of the major contributors of plastic microfibres entering our oceans.” (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2021)

And the negative impact of fast fashion is not just environmental. The rapid production of cheap garments encourages scrupulous manufacturing practices that have dire consequences for factory workers.

The recent Boohoo supply chain scandal, for example, revealed terrible working conditions in garment factories both in the UK and in Pakistan. The social media-led #PayUp campaign also highlighted the often perilous positions that many garment workers are subjected to.

PayUpCampaign        image: payupfashion.com

Last but not least, there is a cost to us as consumers, to both our purses and our mental wellbeing. It is easy to get caught up in mindless buying when items are so cheap and accessible. We end up purchasing things that we don’t need or that don’t fit properly which often leads to feelings of guilt, self-criticism, or worse.

At Asella, we want to change all of this!

We only work with ethical, eco-friendly brands and we believe that by supporting sustainable fashion, we make it easy to make good choices that won’t harm the planet.

Click here to explore sustainable brands.