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Is The Contemporary Uk Fashion Industry Sustainable?

1589 words - 7 pages

Is the Contemporary UK Fashion Industry Sustainable?
The sustainability of the fashion industry is one of the major concerns facing many stakeholders in the sector. The UK fashion industry is increasingly facing a wide range of sustainability issues ranging from wastes generation due to increased production of fashion products to the use of toxic materials in the production of fashion items. In addition, the industry has also been faced with the problem of the growing problem of widespread use of unsustainable materials such as non-biodegradable materials that are not usually easy to recycle as well as the current energy consumption to the release of millions of tons of greenhouse gasses ...view middle of the document...

Toxic chemicals used in the production, manufacture and dyeing of many fashion products such as clothing have also significantly contributed to environmental pollution. According to many experts, herbicides as well as other chemical substances which are used to aid cotton harvesting also impact negatively on both the environment and human health. Cotton entirely emerges as one of the most pesticide intensive crop in the whole world. This pesticide affects people in the United Kingdom in one way or the other. These chemicals additionally remain in the clothes after production and are released directly into the body organs of the lifetime users of the garments (Hethorn, 2015 p. 167).
In my opinion, every individual consumer products have an impact on the environment and the fashion industry is not an exceptional business field. The textile industry in the United Kingdom shares various natural fibres such as wool, linen, silk, hemp and cotton which and man-made fibres. Man-made fibres emerging from these materials such as polyamide and acrylic are made from petrochemical substances which are toxic constituents (Hethorn, 2015 pg. 189). Most of the clothes in our wardrobe are made of polyester, lycra or elastane which are cheap and easy-care fibres. These fibres are toxic to the environment and people and takes about 30-40 years to decompose. This toxicity entirely undermine sustainability of these fashion industry.
According to many experts, the waste volumes from the fashion industry have been steadily growing in the UK within the last few decades particularly since the advent of fast fashion. Currently, the consumers in the UK annually generate more than 30kg of clothing and textile landfill wastes on average . As a result, the attitude of fashion consumers towards the sustainability take in fashion industry as well as ethical fashion purchasing has greatly declined (Hethorn, 2015 pg. 145). The consumers’ inconsequential variations in views in relation to fast fashion in conflicting ways and ensuing implications for the fashion industry’s marketing sustainability greatly undermines the sustainability motives in the UK’s fashion industry.
There have also been social concerns in the contemporary UK fashion industry some of which include the need for improving the condition of workers in the industry, need to incorporate certain codes of good practice in the current UK labour standards. This is particularly attributed to the various social sustainability challenges that are currently being experienced in the UK fashion sector. For example, although the sector has been able to generate a number of opportunities for low skilled jobs, the wages are in most cases below the realistic minimum living wage for most workers. Natural fibres such as cotton have their sustainability challenges as cotton also takes up a larger agricultural land portion in the UK, land of which local people may use to grow their own food. This is particularly evidenced by...

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