20 Facts About The Fast Fashion Industry That Will Shock You

The Green Hub

Society is consuming fashion at a rate like never before. We call this monster: fast fashion.

Fast fashion is the phenomenon we use to describe garments that go from design to store in a quick flash; sometimes within the space of a week!

As the price of fashion dives lower, and the accessibility of new trends increases, fast fashion is being put in the spotlight. Think you knew everything about fast fashion?

Here are 20 facts about the fast fashion industry that will shock you:

fast fashion

Fast fashion Facts


Eighty billion pieces of clothing are consumed globally every year.


The volume of water consumed by apparel production each year is currently the equivalent to 32 million Olympic swimming pools.


Australian’s are the world’s second largest consumers of fashion. On average, they consume 27kgs of new clothing and textiles every year.


One-in-six people work in the global fashion industry.


The US spends an estimated $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes every year: worn for one night only.


Two-thirds of all fibers used to make our clothing are cotton based. Cotton uses a vast amount of water to grow, placing substantial strain on the environment.


250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years due to the stress of debt they accumulated through buying genetically modified cotton seeds to keep up with demand.


Approximately 7,000 liters of water are needed to produce one pair of jeans (the amount of water one individual drinks in 5-6 years).


The wages of workers in garment factories can be as low as US$1-$ three a day.


Using the toilet during a 10-hour shift in a garment factory can cause a major uproar from managers.

Eleven - "Fast fashion brands put out new collections every week or month to make it seem like your wardrobe is all off trend. This is the reason you sit and stare at your full wardrobe thinking you have nothing to wear."

clothing rental site


Fast fashion giants make clothing to fall apart: they are obsessed with the bottom line, so will do anything to make you buy more clothes.


Australian, UK, USA, or New Zealand made, does not mean it is fair trade made; garment workers in the western world are exploited too. – Overdressed by Elizabeth L Cline.


Beading and sequins are an indication of child labour.


Only 10% of the clothes people donate to thrift stores or charities get sold, the rest goes to landfill.


Compared to 16 years ago (2002), the average person buys 60% more clothing and keeps them for half as long.


A top corporate CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 garment workers earn in Bangladesh.


Women wear a garment, on average, 7 times before throwing it away


Clothes made from polyester can take up to 200 years to break down.


Farmers close to garment factories can predict the colour of a season by seeing the colour of the water ways and rivers nearby.

The fast fashion industry is shocking. When you look at the facts and figures, it’s hard to swallow.

But change isn’t going to happen from wallowing. Just like building a house, avoiding fast fashion is easy when you have the right tools in front of you. Head to our brand directory or read our blog on how to begin your sustainable wardrobe.

The Green Hub

The Green Hub is a place where you can be inspired to live a little more sustainably, in a way which fits with your unique lifestyle. We share the latest brands, research, tips and guides to help empower you to make lifestyle choices which are kinder to people and the planet.