A boom in cheap fashion is coming.
And unless we change the way we produce and sell clothes, it’s going to put massive strain on the environment and the people who make them. The conclusion comes from new research by McKinsey & Co., which looked at the way we currently consume fashion as well as the amplifying effect emerging markets could have as their growing middle classes buy more clothes.
McKinsey found that a culture of disposable fashion is proliferating in which retailers keep putting out greater volumes of inexpensive clothing. Consumers, attracted by the low cost and constant newness, are buying these clothes in greater quantities, and often wearing themonly a handful of times before discarding them. This fast-fashion ecosystem uses large amounts of natural resources while producing carbon emissions that fuel climate change. It has also been linked to numerous cases of worker abuses in countries sewing the garments.