Greenpeace: Stop Fast Fashion

Take Action and Sign the Petition!

Greenpeace has just launched a new petition urging people to stop fast fashion. The issue is very dear to us,  indeed, our perspective on fashion stands in stark contrast to this. So, we invite you to read and take action.

Notice: The content presented in the post is sourced from Greenpeace investigations and reports.

Fast fashion: a polluting and unsustainable industry

Clothes sold and returned immediately. Accessories designed to last only one season. Destined to break within a few weeks. And soon ending up in landfills or in the Global South. With mass production, low quality, and ridiculously low prices, the fast fashion industry generates enormous amounts of waste and pollution. And behind the false promises of sustainability often lies greenwashing and a devastating environmental and social impact.

Fast fashion in 3 numbers:

  • 25%: the percentage of new clothing unsold and discarded every year
  • 1 second: every second, a truckload of discarded clothing is either burned or thrown into landfills
  • -1%: it’s the amount of clothing that is actually recycled into new garments.

Every year in Europe, 230 million pieces of clothing get destroyed.

Greenpeace: stop fast fashion clothing discarded in Africa
Image credit: Greenpeace

Textile fibres

Over 60% of the textile fibres (acrylic, polyester, nylon) used to produce our clothing are synthetic fibres, and many are derived from hydrocarbon refining, such as gas and oil. Polyester, derived from petroleum, begins to release microplastics after the first few washes, which end up in the oceans and then move up the food chain, also in our food. The fossil fuel industry grows and proliferates thanks to fast fashion as well.

The dark side of the most famous brands

  • Shein: According to 2022 data, many of its garments contain toxic substances, with some exceeding legal limits, particularly phthalates, up to 600% of the legal limit.
    (source: Greenpeace investigation 2022)
  • Nike, Ralph Lauren, Diesel: A 2022 investigation demonstrated that waste from the production of clothing and footwear for these three brands was being burned in brick kilns in Cambodia, exposing the involved workers to toxic fumes.
    (source: Greenpeace/Unearthed investigation)
  • Amazon, Temu, Zalando, Zara, H6M, OVS, Shein, Asos: Clothing returned after purchase on the most famous e-commerce platforms travels up to 10,000 kilometres and often is not resold.
    (source: Greenpeace investigation 2024)

Online returns: clothing travelling up to 10,000 kilometers

Clothing purchased and then returned multiple times. Parcels of clothing travelling for tens of thousands of kilometres between Europe and China, with no cost to the buyer and minimal expenses for the producing company. But with huge environmental impacts. This is what emerged from the Greenpeace Investigative Unit Italy investigation, which, for about two months, in collaboration with the television program Report, tracked the journeys of some garments in the fast-fashion sector purchased and returned through e-commerce platforms. It revealed a schizophrenic logistics chain, extremely long journeys, and the environmental impact in terms of equivalent CO2 emissions.

Sustainability? It’s just greenwashing!

Fast fashion companies promote their supposed sustainability and respect for better working conditions by stating on labels that their clothing items are produced with a lower environmental impact. However, it often amounts to nothing more than greenwashing. Our investigation of 29 brands has revealed the truth, and globally recognized brands such as Benetton Green Bee, Calzedonia Group, Decathlon Ecodesign, H&M Conscious, and Zara Join Life, just to name a few, have received a red mark regarding the credibility of the statements on their labels.

Greenpeace: sign the petition!

In conclusion, fast fashion, the ultra-rapid fashion sold at very very cheap prices, is not harmless. Unfortunately, the low prices are achieved through the exploitation of workers and harm to the environment. Of course, it wouldn’t exist without modern-day slavery. However, there are alternatives to fast fashion for every budget, for instance, vintage, second-hand and slow fashion. Most importantly, it’s a matter of education and awareness, accessible to all. No excuses left!
So, take action now by signing the Greenpeace petition to stop fast fashion and protect our planet! 👉 sign it here!

Greenpeace: Stop Fast Fashion Read More »

PFAS: an invisible enemy

Environment, pollution and fashion

There’s a scary, invisible enemy: PFAS chemicals. Found in everything from your favourite outdoor jacket to the drinking water you consume, these chemicals pose a serious threat to both the environment and human health.

To better understand this threat, we attended a Greenpeace meeting at Arci Bellezza with Fashion Revolution, Mamme NO PFAS, CNR, IRSA, and Consorzio Italiano Detox.

We were familiar with the topic thanks to “Dark Waters” – a remarkable movie with Mark Ruffalo. Indeed, contamination is known worldwide: read more on Le Monde.

What are PFAS chemicals?

What are PFAS chemicals?
PFAS (poly and perfluoroalkyl compounds) are a large group of synthetic molecules (over 10 thousand) produced only by human activities. Also called forever chemicals, meaning once released into the environment, we’ll never get rid of them!

What are the health risks?
They are dangerous for health and associated with numerous pathologies, even serious ones, including some forms of cancer. Several European states asked to ban them.

Where are PFAS used for?
Industries have used PFAS since the 1950s to produce numerous commercial products: fabric waterproofers, carpets, leathers, insecticides, firefighting foams, paints, food container lining, non-stick pans, floor wax, detergents and beauty products.

Fashion industry and PFAS
From outdoor garments to water-repellent materials, raincoats, jeans, and undies. The fashion industry uses these chemicals throughout the manufacturing cycle.

The contamination in Lombardy:

Greenpeace detected PFAS in the waters of many Lombardy municipalities, including Milan. Carried out on a sample of data – by an independent accredited laboratory – the analyses highlighted the presence of PFAS in 11 drinking water samples out of the 31 collected. In four cases, the PFAS concentration is higher than the limit of the European Directive 2020/2184. In seven cases, the results show variable total PFAS concentrations.

Among the speakers Greenpeace has invited, Michela’s words, a member of “Mamme NO PFAS” – was really powerful! A mother from the Veneto region, the most impacted area, found out her daughter’s blood contained a high quantity of these chemicals. So, she joined other mothers to make their voices heard by politicians, inspiring others to do so.

How can we protect ourselves?

Being informed on contaminated areas, filter the tap water. However, some articles say to limit the use of products containing chemicals. Which sounds like “take your poison, but take it responsibly!”
But, given that PFAS are an invisible enemy, can we really protect ourselves from them?

We believe addressing single fields, such as fashion, agriculture or others, is relatively effective because there is a major cause we need to address. And this major cause is our economic system, capitalism, which sucks life out of the planet as well as out of humans.

Furthermore, how can we humans consider ourselves intelligent when we pour pollutants into the water, poisoning our own environment?

Donate to Greenpeace to support their investigations!

PFAS: an invisible enemy Read More »