Fast Fashion Facts

August 16, 2016

In case I haven’t managed to convince you that you should be choosing slow fashion over fast fashion, I’ve pulled together some facts on fast fashion which may help to convince you to give up your fast fashion addiction.

  1. It is estimated that we make 400 billion m2 of textiles annually, 60 billion m2 is cutting room floor waste
  2. It is estimated that 80 billion items of clothing are delivered out of factories annually worldwide
  3. Around 350,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK each year
  4. 5% of discarded clothing can be recycled or upcycled
  5. The average British woman hoards £285 of clothes they will never wear. That’s £30 billion of unworn clothes
  6. The US is estimated to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes worn for one night
  7. Clothing consumption produces 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per household per year. The equivalent of 6000 cars.
  8. It takes 2,720 litres of water to make a t-shirt. That’s the equivalent of 3 years drinking water.
  9. A typical pair of blue jeans consumes 919 gallons of water during its life cycle
  10. Cotton farming uses 22.5% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides.
  11. Between 75-80% of our clothing’s lifecycle impact comes from washing and drying
  12. 80% of garment workers are women
  13. In Guangdong in China, young women face 150 hours of overtime each month, 60% have no contract, 90% have no access to social insurance
  14. A survey of 219 fashion brands found that only 12% could demonstrate any action at all towards paying wages to garment workers above the legal minimum
  15. In Bangladesh garment, workers earn £44 per month – just 1/4 of a living wage


All of these facts are from Fashion Revolution, you can find out more on their website



5 responses to “Fast Fashion Facts”

  1. Eleanor O'Neill says:

    ooh love a good succinct list – what a great read. The issue highlighted in point 14 is always one that grabs my attention because it surprises and depresses me at the same time. Particularly regarding larger brands that have both the capital, resources and influence to set a better example. I write about responsible fashion a little too (, if you ever have a few minutes spare, would love to know your thoughts 🙂 ellie

    • admin says:

      Completely agree that point 14 really shouldn't exist, large fashion brands have no excuse for not knowing where their products come from.
      Thanks for sharing your site, I will pop over for a read when I get the chance

  2. Great list! It's appalling that women in other countries are suffering for our fix of fast fashion. I am working hard towards buying only ethically. That will mean shopping less but if I don't make that choice I have to deal with the fact that I am guilty of the miserable conditions of other people.

    • admin says:

      I hate the fact that others (in particular other women) have suffered for my clothes in the past. Now I try not to buy anything which exploits others

      • Zoonibo says:

        Agreed with you both. There’s really no excuse for it these days! We looked into this recently and found research published by the Wall Street Journal that on average we only wear 20% of our wardrobe (source – and if you really think about that then that means 80% of the money we spend on clothes is wasted. And therefore it follows that if we really think about what we buy and make sure we use it, then we can all afford to spend 400% more on every purchase we make. This means we can easily afford slightly more expensive ethical fashion items. Worth thinking about.

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