In a new study led by UniSA PhD candidate Erin Skinner, researchers explored Australians’ knowledge of fast and slow fashion, finding that general consumers not only lacked an understanding of the issues, but were also averse or unable to change their buying habits to support more sustainable options.
With Australians overrepresented as one of the largest consumers of textiles globally, UniSA researchers say the government and the fashion industry have an obligation to better educate consumers about the impact of fast fashion and provide alternative options and models.
And Aotearoa isn’t much better. An Auckland Council Waste Assessment from 2017 noted that rapidly increasing amounts of textiles were being dumped, and in the capital, the amount of textile waste sent to Wellington’s Southern Landfill doubled between 2009 and 2020. It’s estimated that 25 percent of those clothes were in good condition and could have been re-purposed.