Love Island: Second hand clothes and the trouble with fast fashion

Love Island contestants are dressing in second-hand clothes, to make the new series “more eco-friendly”.

But what are the environmental issues around fashion, and how much difference do pre-worn clothes make?

What is fast fashion?
Announcing the second-hand policy, Love Island producers said that UK shoppers were increasingly concerned about fast fashion.

The term describes the quick turnover of fashion trends and the move towards cheap, mass-produced clothing – with new lines constantly released.

This has resulted in wardrobes which are “overflowing with clothes”, argues fast fashion campaigner Elizabeth Cline. Oxfam research suggests the average Briton has 57 unworn items.

Love Island stylist gives sneak peek inside the wardrobe
Love Island could change second-hand buying habits
The real price of buying cheap clothes
What’s the environmental impact of fast fashion?
Producing clothes uses a lot of natural resources and creates a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions which are responsible for climate change.

Overall, the fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global emissions, according to the UN – more than the aviation and shipping sectors combined.

And global clothes sales could increase by up to 65% by 2030, the World Bank suggests, partly because of the continuing growth in online shopping.

Most of fashion’s environmental impact comes from the raw materials used to make clothes:

cotton for the fashion industry uses about 2.5% of the world’s farmland
synthetic materials like polyester require an estimated 342 million barrels of oil every year
clothes production processes such as dying requires 43 million tonnes of chemicals a year
The industry also uses a lot of water.

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