The problem with disposable fashion

By Sarah RaparoliLex KlerenGilles Kayser Switch to German for original article

If fast fashion companies are struggling to be more environmentally conscious, there must be other ways in which the fashion industry can be more sustainable. Journal spoke to people in the field about the possibilities.

Are fast fashion and sustainability compatible at all? A short pause from the person who is connected via video call follows the question. It does not seem to be that easy to answer. "I describe myself as an optimist, but with this topic it's not quite so simple, " explains Liz Breuer in the conversation with the Lëtzebuerger Journal. It is 11 am for the 26-year-old and 5 p.m. in here Luxembourg. The young woman has lived in New York for over six years, one of the hippest and most fashionable metropoles in the world. One look at her Instagram page is enough to see that Liz loves fashion. For the young entrepreneur, with her own marketing agency (New Normal Bureau), however, this fashion comes at a price – because sustainable clothing is not cheap.

After her first statement, Liz is more to the point: "I don't think the fast-fashion business model is conducive to being sustainable. There used to be two to four collections a year, one for each season, maybe one or two in between, but that was it. Now there are new clothes in the shops every fortnight." And she is right: since 2000, the sales of new clothes have doubled.

Liz studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), completed countless internships – saw first-hand how the fashion industry works behind the scenes – and graduated in 2019 with a degree in international trade and marketing and minors in mathematics, economics, and sustainability. During these years, she has learned the consequences of the fast fashion industry. "I'll be completely honest – I used to buy so much from Zara that I immediately recognised the clothes on other people. "Today, she has a different point of view: "This mass of produced clothes – it can't be sustainable." But isn't it us, the customers, who are always demanding new clothes? "No", Liz replies without hesitation.

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