Bleak chic

Bleak Chic: How Relentless Fast Fashion, Changing Trends and the Environment is Damaging our Planet

Australians are the world’s second largest purchasers of textiles, consuming on average a whopping 27 kilos of new clothing every year, which equates to around 56 pairs of women’s jeans![1] That’s an average, meaning we can and do consume even more than that. To make matters worse, a great deal of this goes to landfill. It has been claimed that ‘big textile’ comes in second to ‘Big Oil’ in terms of its impact on the planet, which seems quite confronting, especially as we don’t tend to think of the clothes on our backs and the monthly pay day shopping trip as having one of the most detrimental effects on the planet.[2]


‘Fast Fashion’ has been mass produced at increasingly low prices to satiate the demand of the public for new and in trend items of clothing, and unfortunately each stage of this clothing cycle is damaging to our planet. With the increase in production in the fashion industry, demand for man-made fibers, particularly polyester, has nearly doubled in the last 15 years, per figures from the Technical Textile Markets.[3]

So, we at SLT are aiming to research, through use of a survey and interviews with local businesses, Tasmanian attitudes and habits with regards to consuming fashion. From this research, we are going to publishing a series of weekly blog posts detailing information on the impact of our fashion industry, our own impact as consumers, and ways in which we can become more sustainable as consumers. It’s not all doom and gloom though! There are some fantastic initiatives out there which are addressing this issue, as well as activism within the fashion industry itself, which we will be covering in forthcoming posts. We will also be releasing advice and information helping people to think about the way they purchase, use and dispose of clothes, which can hopefully influence businesses in the long run to implement more sustainable changes.

To kick things off, we have created a survey to help us to gauge fashion and shopping habits of the Tasmanian community. Please try and answer the survey as honestly as possible to help us with our research. Stay tuned for the next post!

Sources and Further Reading

[1] Pepper, ‘Australia's obsession with new clothes and 'fast fashion' textiles hurting the environment’ ABC Radio Melbourne (Online) (2017) found at

[3] Milburn, J. ‘Textile Beat’ found at