Fast fashion and the environment

Fast fashion is a business model that produces fashion clothing quickly and cheaply. Fast fashion like fast food is convenient. And like fast food, fast fashion is unhealthy, especially for the environment. VERY UNHEALTHY!


Fashion is the second most polluting industry on Earth, right behind oil. The pressure within the fashion industry to reduce costs and speed up production time means that the environment suffers in the name of profit.

 REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (Bangladesh Environment Society)
A boy swims in a polluted river in Bangladesh.

The fashion industry is also the second-largest consumer of water worldwide.

It takes about 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt.
That's enough water for one person to drink at least eight cups per day for three-and-a-half years.

Fashion causes water-pollution problems too. Textile dyeing is the world's second-largest polluter of water, since the water leftover from the dyeing process is often dumped into ditches, streams, or rivers.


Watch the video about fast fashion and the environment and answer the question:

  • Which country makes over half of the world's clothes and textiles?

Watch the video again and complete the summary with the words in the box.

Note there are TWO EXTRA words.

The textile industry produces more greenhouses gas _______ than the aviation and shipping industries combined. Recently, the Chinese government has _________ a number of textile factories and has also banned the _______ of used clothing. One possible ________ to the fashion industry's environmental impact is a circular economy. In a circular economy, clothes are ________ so that material can be reused, ________ or refurbished.

When you are ready, enter your answers in the sheet below:


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