The climate crisis is everyone’s problem, and everyone has the power to help solve it through their choices as a consumer.
As the realities of the climate crisis have become more prescient, a sharp light has been cast on the scale of wasteful and devastatingly harmful practices of our global economic practices.
Whilst much of the onus is on producers who exploit the workforces and lax environmental restrictions of developing nations, consumers’ habits are equally to blame. There cannot be a seller without a buyer, and the willingness for customers to embrace the fast-paced, throw-away consumerism that industries like fast fashion play upon gives these companies little motivation to change their ways.
Fast fashion is one of the most environmentally devastating industries in the world, and the epitome of the consumerism practices that desperately need to change if we hope to build a better world for us all.
With the annual emissions almost equal to that of the whole of Europe, it pumps out more Co2 than global aviation and shipping combined. That’s without even mentioning the rampant poisoning of rivers across Asia, nor the atrocious working conditions in sweatshops that so many people are willing to ignore so that they can buy a terrible quality t-shirt for a fiver.
All of this feeds an incomprehensibly damaging culture of throwaway consumerism, one that the U.K. invented and is the main proponent of; one in three young women consider clothes worn once or twice to be old, with the British population sending 350,000 tonnes to landfill and recycling enough wearable clothing each year to fill 459 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
It’s not difficult to see how these two problems create a negative feedback loop, benefiting only the corporations that ascribe to it as they line their pockets at the expense of the environment and worker conditions across the globe.
However, it’s also an incredibly easy loop to break out of.
By supporting sustainable brands like those featured on Ethical State, the need to throw away clothing after only a couple of wears disappears, whilst also ensuring that neither the environment nor those making the clothes lose out.
It’s remarkably simple, and requires only the desire to have a positive impact on the world.
We can no longer afford to accept this sorry state of affairs as the status quo, and we must cultivate habits that begin the work of dismantling the system which is upheld by the abusive standards inherent in the modern consumer culture. The sad fact of the matter is that it doesn’t need to be like this, and all we need to do is take the power out of the hands of the abusers and put it back where it belongs – with the small, ethical businesses that are worthy of our support. Our planet deserves better, and so do we.