A dream to stop my obsession with fast fashion.
I used to be an avid lover of fast fashion. In thought, if I missed a certain clothing update, then it meant I missed the trend. About every three weeks I would go to fast fashion shops to buy new clothes. So, what made me stop being obsessed with fast fashion clothes, was a dream.
Every season I go through my wardrobe and sort out some clothes that I think are out of style. Usually, I put these clothes in the community’s cloth receiving bins, where could donate to people in need. I think this is a very worthwhile and sustainable behaviour.
In the process of sorting through my clothes, I found a red puff sleeve shirt that tag had not to be removed. After trying to memories, I found out where it came from. The fast fashion brand was having a mid-year sale day. On that day I woke up early to queue up at the shop doorway. The door opened and I swarmed in with everyone else around me, and I saw this red shirt right away. I looked at the discounted price, only $14.99. I didn’t hesitate to put it in my shopping bag, ” I got a great deal” I thought.
I looked back at the red shirt in front of me. At the time, I was only looking at the bargain, but I had overlooked the fact that the puffy sleeves were long out of fashion, and that they were out of fashion for a brief two weeks this summer. So, it went in the wardrobe and I don’t wear it anymore. “It’s okay, donate it to someone in useful need, it’s not a waste,” I reassured myself.
It was 2 am after sorting out the clothes that needed to be donated and I was sleepy enough to go to sleep.
“Here, here.” The voice came from far away, unable to find the exact source.
“Who, who is calling me?” I was in a dark space and couldn’t see anything.
“It’s me!” With a cheerful cry, the surroundings gradually brightened and I saw my red shirt slowly walking towards me. It had features and limbs.
“Where are we?” I looking down at it. ”
“The landfill” it said.
I noticed my surroundings, a vast and endless pit with lots of colorful things in it. Too far away for me to care what they were. It was accompanied by a pungent smell that I couldn’t breathe for a moment and even had a physical reaction of wanting to vomit.
“Why are we here?” I asked it, forcing myself to fight back the nausea
It suddenly becoming sad. Its features crinkled together and the voice trailed off as it said, “I live here now.”
“Here?” I said, surprised. “Why, I did donate you to the…”
“Donated to the poverty area?” It interrupted, “I thought I would be donated to someone who would appreciate me. But the truth is, I was made of such poor material and even had a hole in me. I didn’t meet the criteria for donation at all, so I was shipped here to landfill.”
As it spoke, it began to cry and the voice growing louder and louder. I cried uncontrollably along with it.
“Linlin, wake up, wake up.”
I gradually woke up to see my mother whispering my name.
“It was a dream! ” I was instantly realized.
I got up from bed, unpacked the bag of clothes I had put together yesterday for donation and found the red shirt. It still looked the same as yesterday and had no features nor limbs. I found a hole in the shirt and looked through the material list, which writes “100% polyester”.
I turned on my computer and looked up fast fashion clothing materials. I found the most materials for fast fashion clothing are synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon. They are all made from fossil fuels—petroleum, and consist of plastic (Rauturier, 2021). I’d never thought about the material of clothes before, I’d always assumed they were made of cotton.
Continue to find. Fossil fuels release carbon emissions led to global warming and microplastic are discharged into the ocean when clothe be washed. Meanwhile, toxic chemicals are used in the dyeing of textiles, which end up in the ocean. When plastic degrades, it releases a poisonous chemical that harms marine ecosystems. And for those plastic microfibers that are unable to be removed, they wind up in our food chain via aquatic life, affect health (Le, 2020).
The fate of these fast fashion clothes is to end up in landfills or be incinerated because of the poor quality of fast fashion clothes and easy to go out of style. “An average European use nearly 26 kg of textiles and discards about 11 kg of them every year, with up to 87% either incinerated or ending up in landfills.” (News, 2021) Because most synthetic fibers aren’t biodegradable, a synthetic fibers garment can take up to 20 to hundreds of years to degrade in the landfills (Maiti, 2020). The burning of clothes will release toxic substances or a large number of toxic gases (Wicker, 2016), which will cause great harm to the health of the residents living around, and also pollute our living environment and water resources.
After learning a lot about fast fashion, I sat dumbly in the chair. “What had I done before?” I asked myself in a low voice. What was behind my so-called “trendy” that required the planet, the ecosystem and human beings on it, to pay such a heavy price for it? What I thought was an SUSTAINABLE act was nothing more than my ego being moved? From that day on, fast fashion, disappeared from my world, completely.
That’s why I gave up on fast fashion. There are more downsides to fast fashion. I recommend watching a documentary “The True Cost” if you want to know more, and I will talk more about the impact of fast fashion on our planet in my next blog post. I am looking forward to you sharing your understanding of fast fashion in the comments section.
Le, N. (2020). The impact of fast fashion on the environment. Retrieved from
Maiti, B. (2020). Fast fashion: its detrimental effect on the environment. Retrieved from
News, A. (2021). Fast fashion is cheap but it costs the earth. Retrieved from
Rauturier, S. (2021). What is fast fashion. Retrieved from
Wicker, A. (2016). Fast fashion is creating an environmental crisis. Retrieved from