Holiday fast fashion is a major problem in the UK. According to a study done by the Hubbub, one in five people admit that they would not wear the same outfit to more than one holiday event or party. The one-time use of holiday apparel is harmful and contributes to our climate crisis. Fast fashion creates such a significant problem as the textile industry is responsible for releasing 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, directly correlating to Earth’s rise in temperature. Additionally, plastic is yet another downfall when it comes to fast fashion. There is excessive plastic use in the fashion industry as packaging, and even clothing contain plastic. Plastic also contributes to environmental issues as it takes thousands of years to break down and is often harmful to wild organisms. However, you do not have to be a part of the problem, as there are many ways to be sustainable during the holiday season.
One way that we can personally limit the growing ‘throwaway culture’ is by being mindful of the gifts that we buy. A couple examples of sustainable holiday shopping are purchasing from ethically sourced, local businesses, and researching their environmental impact before supporting them. While it may seem strange to some people, we have to get over the idea that repurposed gifts are inconsiderate or not as good as newly made items. Oftentimes, these gifts have more meaning to the recipient. Another sustainable option is thrifting or even giving someone an experience rather than an item. This could be a concert (though not during Covid), or a day out to a place that is special to them. Finally, another option is making a gift yourself. This could be a piece of art, baked goods, or using any of your talents/hobbies to make something unique and personal for your friend. Fast fashion and our excessive need for new items are only getting bigger, and with the holiday season approaching, please consider these options for a more sustainable winter.