Climate change is a threat to global sustainable development and the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. This thesis explores how fast fashion and consumerism have contributed to an overabundance of clothing, an increase in greenhouse gases, fibers and fabrics that don’t disintegrate properly, and water pollution; all of which create negative environmental and social issues. Through detailing each of these problems, it can be seen that there needs to be internal changes within the fashion industry and external changes made by consumers. In order to create these changes, the fashion industry needs to adjust the current fashion model by reshaping how fashion is made through slowing down production and manufacturing and focusing on the lifespan of a more circular economy through methods such as rental, resale and repurposing of garments. This will pave the way for less pollution and waste, more transparency, the creation and utilization of sustainable textiles, and educating consumers to buy more mindfully. Tools and resources, such as new durable textiles and environmental impact tools, have been helpful innovations so far, but they are not yet ubiquitous. There are additional solutions that can be utilized or carried out on a larger scale in order to make a difference. Finally, there is a discussion on the future of fashion and moving forward after COVID-19, which has had a large impact on the industry. The overall goal is to bring awareness to the issues the fashion industry creates and show how the global fashion community can come together to build a more sustainable fashion industry.


Fashion Industry, Sustainable Fashion, Ethical Fashion, Consumerism, Sustainability

Document Type


Year of Completion



Fashion Merchandising


Cherie Serota

Academic Department

Fashion Merchandising