The world of fashion has always traded on the desire of shoppers for the latest thing.
Whether it’s a new-season coat or a dress in an on-trend colour, the industry has been underpinned by consumers continuing to buy ever more clothing.
“Today the textile industry is valued at about three trillion dollars. It has grown exponentially. There’s some numbers that say it’s quintupled in volume. It’s absolutely crazy.” Political economist
With the rise of online shopping, the demand for cheap and readily available clothing has created a new fashion boom.
“Fast fashion is the commerce of very inexpensive clothing…It’s very typical for the fashion forward buyer to never wear an outfit that they purchased. So you will wear something once or twice, or maybe never.” Political economist
Known as “fast fashion” this affordable but disposable approach to clothing has created billion dollar empires, but there is a cost.
“We cannot lose one hour. Forget one day there…We are calculating hours and minutes here, not days.” Manufacturer
This investigation reveals the unglamorous, and in some cases illegal practices of the clothing industry.
“They have to subcontract and often they subcontract to second or third-tier factories where working conditions are of a much lower standard than they might be in the first tier manufacturer.” Work place researcher
From the sweatshops of Britain to the textile factories of India, this program exposes the high cost of fast fashion and who really pays the price.
“It’s marketed as a green product. Is it basically a lie? Yes. … It’s an extremely interesting poison.” Medical researcher and author
With millions of tonnes of textiles ending up in landfill, some in the fashion industry are challenging customers to change their buying habits.