The real cost of fast fashion on show in Milan

2019 © Claudio Montesano Casillas
2019 © Claudio Montesano Casillas

Arrives in Milan THE FASHION EXPERIENCE - The truth about what you wear", the free entry multimedia installation promoted by Mani Tese, which will tell visitors, through a highly emotional journey, the social and environmental consequences linked to the production chain clothing.The installation, open to all, will be open from 10 am  to 10 pm in Milan, in Piazza XXIV Maggio, from June 2019, 21st to 30th.The volunteers  of Mani Tese will accompany the public inside a structure that will unfold in three different environments to discover the hidden world that is often hidden behind our pair of jeans or one of our shirts.

The consequences of Fast Fashion

The apparel industry has experienced tremendous growth worldwide over the past 15 years. The production of clothing has almost doubled, while the average duration of the life cycle of the products has experienced an inversely proportional decline. It is estimated that the average use of clothes and accessories has decreased by 36% in the period 2000 - 2015, with the cheapest items being worn only 7 or 8 times before being discarded. Among the causes of all this, there is certainly the explosion of the phenomenon of fast fashion, characterized by an increasingly frequent offer every year of new collections of clothes and accessories at reduced prices.

"As the volume of production and consumption increases, the enormous impacts of which this chain is responsible have also increased - says Giosuè De Salvo, Head of Advocacy, Campaigns and Education of Mani Tese - both from an environmental and a social point of view. The installation "THE FASHION EXPERIENCE" aims to spread awareness and raise awareness about the flip side of the fast fashion model ".

The environmental and social impact

During the installation it will be possible to experience the pressure that the textile industry exerts on the environment. THE FASHION EXPERIENCE reveals that, on average, to produce a single pair of jeans - a garment chosen for its wide distribution in the population of all ages and backgrounds - it is necessary to use 3,800 liters of water, 12 m2 of land and 18.3 Kw / h of electricity, with an emission of 33.4 kg of CO2 equivalent during the entire life cycle of the product. These impacts take on an impressive dimension when compared on a global scale: every year, in fact, around 3.5 billion jeans are produced worldwide, ie 6,650 per minute, 3.325 every 30 seconds, to satisfy a purchase demand of 2 billion garments a year.

In terms of social impacts, it is estimated that the supply chain represents the second most exposed to the risk of forms of modern slavery, in particular women and minors. It is estimated that around the world there are 152 million children forced to work, 73 million of them dealing with dangerous jobs. In the clothing industry the cases of exploitation concern the whole chain, from the collection in the cotton fields to the packaging in the artisan laboratories and in the big factories. Children can work up to 12 hours a day, hoping to earn, once they are adults, an average salary that does not exceed $ 200 a month.

THE FASHION EXPERIENCE installation intends to contribute to making this change by activating consumers first of all by raising awareness of the risks of business as usual and promoting positive business models. Even operators in the clothing, footwear and accessories sector will have the opportunity to discover the most innovative experiences and feel motivated to act themselves the change necessary to combine profitability with respect for human rights and the environment.

THE FASHION EXPERIENCE is an initiative co-organized with the Municipality of Milan and is part of the "New Business 4 Good" project. Educate, inform and collaborate for a new way of doing business "promoted by Mani Tese in collaboration with other partners and co-funded by the Italian Development Cooperation Agency. For information:

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