Fighting Fast Fashion

The mass-produced and over-consumed cycle of fast fashion has taken a serious environmental toll on the planet. But there are ways to fight back

February 15, 2022
A digital illustration of a fashion model walking through a landfill filled with textile waste.
Clothing that gets thrown away or can’t be used by second-hand stores often ends up in landfills where the items decay slowly and release greenhouse gases. [Illustration: Maiya Focht | Base photo: The Donkey Sanctuary]

Sometimes, being a “material girl” comes with a downside. An endless cycle of fashion trends doesn’t only weigh on your wallet; it takes a toll on the planet too.  

In 2020, the fashion industry accounted for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, which is more than the oceanic shipping and international flight industries combined. If current practices continue undeterred, experts predict emissions will only increase. 

Just like the larger issue of climate change, the path to fixing the fashion industry is disagreed upon. The good news? There are personal changes you can make to your shopping habits and potential policy changes that could help.

Scienceline reporter Maiya Focht dives deeper into the fast fashion industry, giving you an overview of the most important trend: caring for the environment.


Dark Fog by Kevin MacLeod | Filmmusic.io standard license

Raving Energy by Kevin MacLeod | Filmmusic.io standard license

Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLeod | Filmmusic.io standard license


Newscast waterfall: 

Vice News

Teen Vogue

DW Documentary

MTV Impact

CBS News

Trend waterfall:

Sisters Forever

Kerina Wang

Model Mouth

Katelyn Dewitt

Laini Ozark

About the Author

Maiya Focht

Maiya Focht is a science journalist passionate about all things STEM: from the brain to robotics to the biosphere. Prior to SHERP, she studied Neuroscience and Television, Radio and Film while working as a health and wellness beat reporter at NPR.


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