For a lot of people, fashion plays a large role in their identity and how they express themselves. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the negative role that the fashion industry plays on the environment.

When it comes to fast fashion, quality is exchanged for a faster production speed. Clothes require tons of water to produce, and some fabrics used in them contain plastic. Most of the plastics in our oceans are in the form of microplastics. When we use washing machines, the water from each cycle is filtered into the ocean along with bits of plastic fibers from our clothes. These microplastics end up in marine life and ultimately in some of the seafood we consume.

There are a handful of sustainable clothing companies, and although their average prices are higher than fast-fashion companies, you’re paying for ethical clothing production. There is also the option to purchase clothes secondhand.

Next time you purchase clothing, I urge you to consider the resources put into its production. We have already destroyed much of our planet, so it’s important, now more than ever, to consume less and appreciate more of what we already have.

Dahlia Xie, Bellevue