Slowing Down Fast Fashion: An Evaluation of Environmental Initiatives




Burke, Linnea

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



It has become well-known in recent years that the fashion industry is responsible for roughly 10% of global emissions and produces 92 million tonnes of textile waste per year (Vicentini, 2021). This is the same as one garbage truck full every second (Vicentini, 2021, pp. 30-31). Given this issue, I evaluated environmental initiatives that retailers and manufacturers (SHEIN, Aritzia, and Patagonia) have implemented to address their environmental impacts to determine what has been successful and what has fallen into the greenwashing narrative. My research was driven by the following questions: What strategies are being put in place by large clothing manufacturers and retailers to make the industry more environmentally sustainable? Do these efforts truly mitigate the environmental impacts of the industry? Where are the disparities between the discourse that companies employ about their sustainability practices and their actual efforts to reduce environmental impacts? By investigating discrepancies and contradictions within the clothing industry, I demonstrate the potential and limitations of the clothing industry in addressing climate change. I conclude that successful environmental policies move beyond small or performative changes within the linear supply chain to build new supply chain patterns of circularity.



Circularity, Environment, Clothing, Fashion, Sustainability