New Trend: Buying Ultra Bad Fashion

The newest Social Media trend since the pandemic is TikTok. Watching a TikToker showing all her Shein “Hauls”. In the next minute she is ripping all the plastic bags open and the next second she poses with her new favorite outfits. But only showing the outfits won’t get her many views or likes. This will be achieved when she says: “You won’t believe me how cheap these cute little tops are – It’s insane!”

The consumers on TikTok don’t know much about Fast-Fashion, let alone about ultra-fast fashion and its impact on the environment. 

Fast-Fashion vs. Ultra-Fast Fashion

Ultra-Fast Fashion takes every bad attribute of fast fashion and speeds it up. In short, the faster production cycles and trends lead to negative impacts on workers and the environment. With the impact of ultra-fast fashion and their relatively low-price strategy, the disposable culture is now the norm. The younger generation buys in huge quantities and views their garnet as worn out only after a few washes.

The Environmental Impact

Water Usage

About 93 billion cubic meters of water is used in the garment industry which represents about 4% of all freshwater extraction globally. Not only does this amount might double by 2030, but it also contributes to water shortage in these production regions. 90% of these clothes are made with cotton or polyester. It is widely known, that cotton requires a large amount of water and pesticides to produce single garments – approximately about 2500 liters of water. Alongside the production, about 17 to 20% of the industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and the fabric finishing treatment. These chemicals are going back to the rivers and oceans contaminating them with toxins and heavy metals, not only infecting the animals but also the human food chain. 

Textile Waste

Approximately about 92 million tonnes of textile waste are created worldwide every year. And we are expecting that by 2030 about 134 million tonnes of textile might be discarded, even though 95% of these textiles could be reused and recycled.  Just as said before, the disposable culture is now the norm.  But what happens with our tossed aside garments? These are sent into landfills.  In 2018 around 17 million tonnes of garments ended up in landfills. This amount takes up to 200 years to decompose. Even up to this day, 84% of clothes end up in landfills.  

Landfills in Africa (Netzfrauen, 2022)
Carbon emissions

The fashion industry holds about 10% of the global carbon emission, which ranks in the second position right after oil. On average, the total carbon emission of the garment’s life, so from manufacturing to transportation and ultimately ending up in a landfill, is approximately 1.2 billion tonnes. With the current trends, the greenhouse gas emission in this industry will increase by more than 50% or higher by 2030. 

But what can we do?

At first, the packaging of the newly bought clothing needs to be properly recycled and decomposed. Instead of using the washing machines which pollute the ocean with microfabrics, it is better to handwash these fabrics. When it’s time to throw out the pieces it is better to try these new approaches. If it’s possible, restyling the old clothing or reselling them is an economical better solution. When buying a new piece choosing the right fabric is essential, even though it might be more expensive. But in the end, it’s best if we don’t buy from ultra-fast-fashion brands. 

How to spot a fast fashion respectively ultra-fast fashion brand?

Here are some common key factors to recognize these brands:

  • Thousand different styles, that touch the newest trends and change every day
  • Short turnaround time between catwalk/celebrity media and their online shop
  • Offshore manufacture, with a poorly visible supply chain 
  • Cheap and low-quality fabrics like polyester


Clarke, R. (08 2021). Fast Fashion’s Carbon Footprint. Von The Carbon Literacy Trust: abgerufen

Common Objective. (23. 11 2021). The Issues: Water. Von Common Objective: abgerufen

Kant, R. (14. 01 2012). Textile dyeing industry an environmental hazard. Von Natural Science: abgerufen

Rauturier, S. (01. 04 2022). What Is Fast Fashion and Why Is It So Bad? Von good on you: abgerufen

Shadel, J. (25. 02 2022). What is Ultra Fast Fashion? Investigating Why It’s Ultra Bad. Von good on you: abgerufen

Smith, D. (15. 02 2021). Fast Fashion’s Environmental Impact: The True Price Of Trendiness. Von good on you: abgerufen

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (24. 09 2020). Report maps manufacturing pollution in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Von United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: abgerufen

The date of death of the glaciers

Winter wonderland. Snow and glaciers as far as the eye can see. A fantastic mountain scenery with a white veil of frozen water. This is how we imagine the mountain world in winter. But if you take a closer look, you will notice that the glaciers are no longer as big and wide as they were just a few years ago. Due to climate change, glaciers are melting at record rates and retreating further and further. Do we really still live in a winter wonderland or will it soon be just a winter dreamland? 

“The glaciers are lost!”

Wilfried Haeberli

The Swiss glacier researcher Wilfried Haeberli even expresses himself in such a way that the glaciers are probably lost (Wagner, 2019). Since industrialization around 1850, glaciers have shrunk by about a third of their area and mass (Greenpeace, 2012). But is hop and malt really lost and we will only be able to marvel at the glaciers in photos in a few years? Scientists have been trying to answer this question for some time. But why are our glaciers melting every day and how can we help?

Glacier retreat of the Triftgletscher (Switzerland) within one year
Source: RAOnline EDU: Gletscher und Klimawandel – Triftgletscher (Schweiz) – Gefahren – Gletschersee

One of the reasons why our glaciers are melting every day is global warming. If temperatures on earth rise by a few points, glaciers around the world melt. Likewise, warm summers prevent glaciers from regenerating and increasing in size. Scientists have found that not only cool and snowy winters are needed to maintain glaciers. It also requires cool, high-precipitation summers. But what does that mean for humans and animals if there are no more glaciers? (Wagner, 2019)

On the one hand, glaciers are great natural water sources for humans, animals and plants. Three quarters of the existing freshwater reserves consist of ice and snow in the polar regions and glacier regions. When glaciers melt, streams form, releasing water. This water waters the surrounding meadows and fields, providing animals and people with fresh and, most importantly, clean drinking water. In addition to providing water, glaciers provide a habitat for a variety of biodiversity. Nutritious soil forms at the glacier margin, which promotes plant growth. This plant growth forms new habitat for small animals. If the glaciers cease to exist in a few years, an important source of water and habitat for humans and animals will be lost. Another aspect of glaciers is safety. If the glaciers continue to melt, it will be dangerous for people who are near the glaciers. The glaciers hold rocks and boulders tightly together and form a net around the rocks. If the glaciers continue to melt, this net will disappear and boulders and rocks could start rolling. This would cause enormous masses of rock to move into the populated valleys and cause damage at best (Wagner, 2019).

There are around 5’000 glaciers in the Swiss Alps. Scientists suspect that this number will halve in the next few years. This would mean that enormous water reserves can be built up during the glacier melt. However, once the glaciers are gone, a water shortage will result. In addition to vital water supplies and habitats for small animals, the reduction of glaciers would also affect winter sports. Entire ski areas could disappear altogether. If we look at the aspect of coastal areas, new problems form here. As glaciers melt, sea levels rise, threatening coastal areas with flooding (GreenPeace, 2019). The researchers of the NGO Climate Central have made calculations based on satellite images and artificial intelligence, which show which areas could get problems due to the rise in sea level. Among the areas are Venice, Maldives, Bahamas, Jakarta, the Netherlands, Mumbai, large parts of Bangladesh, Bangkok, Vietnam and many more. Thus, it is evident that not only the mountainous areas but also the coastal areas are threatened by glacier melt and thus the melting of glaciers is a global problem. (Manser, 2019)

But what can we do? How can we prevent our winter wonderland with its glaciers from disappearing? A report from RP Online reported that climate change can only be stopped by change on a global, political and personal level. Every country and every person must reduce their own carbon footprint. Solutions for climate neutral everyday life have to be created and renewable energy has to be used. There are many measures that can be implemented. Following are four points listed, which each person can implement and thus contribute to climate protection (RP Online, n d.):

  • Use public transport instead of cars Avoid long-distance travel by plane and ship
  • Eating healthy and climate-friendly food and not supporting factory farming (14.5% of total CO2 emissions are caused by processing animals into food)
  • Avoiding waste and sustainable consumption of products
  • Renovation of the home (saves heating costs and energy)

There are countless measures that can be implemented. For example, the ski resort of LAAX in the Grisons launched a campaign to help maintain their glacier. In the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona above LAAX lies the Voralbglacier. Until 20 years ago, the glacier was used entirely as a ski resort. Nowadays, this is only possible to a limited extent due to the massive glacier melt. Therefore LAAX has developed a Last Day Pass. By purchasing a Last Day Pass, guests can ski in LAAX and contribute to climate protection. Each ticket guarantees to save 1’000 kilograms of CO2, thereby increasing the lifetime of the pre-algae glacier by 10 minutes. Also a part of the proceeds will be used for planting trees. The guests can therefore make a direct contribution to climate protection. On the homepage of LAAX you can see how many days it will take until the Voralbglacier is completely gone. Until today (as of June 3, 2022) already 4 days, 5 hours and 10 minutes could be gained and thus the Last Day of the Voralbglacier is postponed to April 7, 2056 (LAAX, 2022).

The last day of the Voralbgletscher
Source: LAAX – Last Day Pass (

As we see, the glaciers will no longer exist in a few years unless we change something. We cannot continue to just watch. We have to act. Every single person on this planet pollutes the environment every day and thus contributes to global warming. If we don’t change something today, tomorrow the world will no longer exist as we know it. If everyone could reduce their footprint, we would not only save planet Earth, we would also help ensure that our species continues to exist.


Wagner, A, 2019. “Gletscherschmelze” Planet Wissen. Available at:
Klimawandel: Gletscherschmelze – Gletscher – Klima – Natur – Planet Wissen ( . [Accessed 3 June, 2022].

Greenpeace, 2012. “Berge ohne Eis: Die Gletscher schmelzen” Greenpeace. Available at: Berge ohne Eis: Die Gletscher schmelzen | Greenpeace . [Accessed 3 June, 2022].

Manser, C, 2019. “Anstieg des Meeresspiegels – 15 Städte und Länder, die ein ernsthaftes Problem haben” Watson. Available at: Anstieg des Meeresspiegels – 15 Städte und Länder, die ein ernsthaftes Problem haben ( . [Accessed 3 June, 2022].

RP Online, n d. “Klimawandel” RP Online. Available at: Klimawandel: Aktuelle News und Infos zur globalen Erwärmung und den Auswirkungen für Deutschland ( . [Accessed 3 June, 2022].

LAAX, 2022. “The Last Day Pass” LAAX. Available at: LAAX – Last Day Pass ( . [Accessed 3 June, 2022].

Impacts of the ultra-fast fashion industry and tips on how to change our behavior

Ultra-fast fashion brand SHEIN (Utopia)

The ultra-fast fashion industry is the newest business model of the multi-billion dollar fashion industry. In order to achieve their goals of providing low cost, low quality, and trend-based clothing at unbelievable speed to the customer, those firms use unethical and exploitative methods. In 2019 the global consumption of clothing was at 62 million tons and is estimated to reach 102 million tons within the next 10 years (worldbank).
Because people do not want to run around living their lives naked clothes are essential. Unfortunately, the trend goes in the opposite direction, and people are buying more clothes than ever and wearing them even less. According to Sophie Benson, many young People do not like to wear more than once, sometimes even just for a photo. A reason for this is social media, where content is created, photos taken and posted and if an outfit is seen twice it is considered old (Sophie Benson, Refinery29). Social media is not the sole reason for this behavior as Professor Carolyn Mair writes in her book, The Psychology of Fashion: “As humans have developed and their basic needs are met, they experience greater motivation for belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Fashion and fashion-related products can satisfy these needs… Comments and evaluations from others provide self-knowledge and can influence self-concept, self-identity, and self-esteem.”
In order to save money on this expensive spending habit, consumers use ultra-fast fashion brands like SHEIN, Fashion Nova, CIDER, and PrettyLittleThing. It can be said that the basic difference between fast and ultra-fast fashion is everything bad in the fashion industry sped up. Specifically, the trends, production, and in the end the throwing away are some of those elements. Most of these clothes are made of harmful polyester out of virgin plastic, which means microplastic is going to pollute the environment for years to come. Those brands are problematic for almost all SDGs, as they can be considered offenders to the progress made.

As part of the solution, the consumers are essential. It starts with every single person, but that is not as easy as it sounds. The brands named above should be avoided at all costs. A Guideline I learned in my training as a dressmaker is: Fashion trends are for unoriginal people. If you follow these trends, you tell the world silently that you have no idea what it is about. If you take a look around the city you start to see a pattern and suddenly all of the people look the same, as they wear similar clothes, hairstyles, and accessories. If you want to be a true fashion icon, you do not need fashion trends. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in, with cuts that flatter your body type, colors and patterns for your skin tone, and styles that actually fit you and your personality and are not a trend. If you follow these guidelines, you are always going to look fabulous and never cheap.

Tips to Reduce your Footprint:
1. Buy less (obviously, but it needs to be said…)
2. Buy fair and as sustainable as possible (check:, brand ratings)
3. Buy better Quality (6 Tips to recognize if garments are well made)
4. Repair, recycle or resell clothes before throwing them away
5. Buy second hand, swap, and rent clothes
6. Optimize your washing habits (7 Tips to optimize our laundry habits)

6 Tips to recognize if garments are well made (Sustain your Style)

7 Tips to optimize our laundry habits (Sustain your Style)


Benita Wintermantel, Utopia, 01.06.2022, Shein: Die dunkelste Seite der Modewelt – und wie man Teenager vor Fast-Fashion schützt, online:

Benson Sophie, 18.08.2021, Refinery29, One & Done: Why do people ditch their clothes after just one wear? Online: (03.06.2022)

Mair Caroline, 15.03.2018, Taylor & Francis Ldt., The Psychology of Fashion (03.06.2022)

Shadel JD, 25.02.2022, Good on you, online: (03.06.2022)

Sustain Your Style, How can we reduce our Fashion Environmental Impact?,2022, Online:

Worldbank, 23.09.2019, Worldbank organization, How much do our wardrobes cost to the environement? Online:,needs%20of%20five%20million%20people.&text=The%20fashion%20industry%20is%20responsible,flights%20and%20maritime%20shipping%20combined(03.06.2022)