Questions for “Why today’s ‘fast fashions’ can be bad for the planet”

women's sports clothing on a clothing rack

So-called “fast fashion” has made clothes affordable enough that young people can buy far more clothes than are needed. And the relatively low cost of these items also makes people likely to trash clothes when they no longer seem fashionable or may be in need of repairs.

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To accompany feature “Why today’s ‘fast fashions’ can be bad for the planet


Before Reading:

1. How often do you buy clothes? What leads you to decide to buy new clothing?

2. Think about a favorite item of clothing. List as many steps as you can think of that went into producing that item of clothing.

During Reading:

1.  What is fast fashion?

2.  The fashion industry accounts what share of global emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas?

3.  List two other types of environmental effects of the fashion industry.

4.  What is one environmental cost associated with cotton fabric? With wool? With synthetic fabric such as polyester fleece?

5.  How does Sandra Roos hope to influence which chemicals textile companies choose to use?

6.  How does the method used to dye fabric that Anuradhi Liyanapathiranage is developing differ from standard methods? How does it change how much water will be used?

7.  What problem does Anthony Dichiara’s research group hope to solve with its dye-absorbing sponge?

8.  How does Seshadri Ramkumar’s dye filter work?

9.  What type of environmental impacts are due to laundering clothes, based on this story?

10. What is notable about Charlotte McCurdy’s see-through raincoat? How could the material help address climate change?

After Reading:

1.  What are four ways that teens can change the environmental impacts of the fashion industry?

2.  After reading this article about the environmental impacts of the fashion industry, do you think you will change your approach to buying clothing? If yes, how will it change your approach? If not, explain why not.