Human Cost Of Fast Fashion
Fast fashion is a well-known contributor to environmental disaster as well as a potential solution. It’s a business that evolves extremely quickly, with new trends appearing every few weeks and new designs being created at an equally frantic rate in reaction to those trends. Fast fashion is therefore affordable and available to customers. The market has a yearly value of more than $300 billion, and some analysts believe it will reach $450 billion by 2023. Fast fashion, however, has a significant human cost as well.
The Human Cost Of Fast Fashion:
This inexpensive clothing purchasing binge has a human cost. Millions of girls and women, many of whom earn some of the lowest incomes in the world, labor in a risky setting where they run the risk of contracting illnesses and accidents at the workplace. Let’s look further.
Unsafe And Unhygienic Conditions:
As developers see an opportunity to profit from the global demand for affordable clothing, many garment factory buildings have been hastily and inexpensively built. Due to inadequate structural support, these structures run the danger of collapsing or catching fire. The workshops are frequently crowded and have limited access to restrooms and clean drinking water. Workers’ health may also be endangered by the burning and chemical processes used in the production of clothing.
Since equipment and materials are fixed expenses of manufacturing, lowering production costs typically entails cutting worker pay. The stated minimum salary for a textile worker is much less than what is required to provide for a family and fulfill basic requirements.
Many employees, especially women, are paid less than the legal minimum wage due to lax law enforcement and exploitation. Given the inflation in food and housing costs, many garment workers are even poorer now than they were ten years ago, despite some wage increases. The workers and their kids are unable to escape hand-to-mouth survival, even with full-time jobs.
Most garment workers typically work six days a week, however, this can increase to seven days during times of pressing production deadlines. Many people lack the right to breaks or paid time off because they work 10 to 14 hours every day, increasing their risk of accidents and illness.
Physical and sexual abuse are both common. In South India, for instance, a 2016 survey of garment workers revealed that 60% of women had encountered violence and intimidation at work, with one in seven women experiencing sexual abuse at work.
According to the International Labour Organization, 170 million children are engaged in unlawful child labour, with the manufacturing and textiles sectors accounting for a large portion of these cases. Children are employed at all points in the supply chain, from picking cotton to spinning to sewing, and they are frequently chosen because they have smaller, more delicate hands and are willing to accept even lower pay.