The problem with fast fashion 快時尚帶來的問題

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有很多人都喜歡買衣服。在英國,近年來人們購買衣服的數量比以往任何時候都要多。買得多,扔得也多。這種快速服裝消費模式被稱為 「快時尚」,它給社會和環境帶來了不少問題。面臨 「快時尚」,我們能做些什麼?「隨身英語」 討論快時尚所帶來的問題。

Vocabulary: fashion 詞彙:時尚

There’s nothing quite like new clothes, is there? The UK certainly loves them. According to a report by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), the UK consumes five times more clothes today than it did in the 1980s. That’s more than any other nation in Europe and amounts to around 26.7kgs per person. This results in 235 million garments going to landfill – victims of fast fashion.

Fast fashion is defined as 「an accelerated fashion business model」 involving 「increased numbers of new fashion collections every year」, 「quick turnarounds」 and 「lower prices」, according to the EAC. Globalisation means that attire is made in countries where labour is cheaper. This saving is passed on to consumers, who then consider the garb they own disposable – easily replaceable with something more on-trend. And that creates problems.

First, there’s the environmental cost. Manufacturing any kind of textile costs resources. For example, synthetic fibres, which are made from plastic, have a larger carbon footprint than natural ones. Natural fibres, although more carbon-efficient, still require more water to grow. And further resources are used as the cloth is dyed, made into clothing and transported to retail for sale. Secondly, the fast-fashion industry is under pressure to put the latest trending items on shelves fast, which can lead to workers being exploited and forced to labour in poor working conditions. In countries such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Philippines, workers are paid wages that are insufficient to live on. One worker in Ethiopia told the BBC that they had to deal with intolerable conditions, such as withheld overtime payments, verbal abuse, and unsanitary toilets.

So what can be done in the UK to reduce clothes waste? The EAC has recommended eighteen improvements to the UK government, from increasing tax on purchases to fund recycling centres to introducing more sewing lessons in schools, encouraging a make do and mend attitude when things become threadbare.

What can we do? Shop 「secondhand and vintage,」 recommends Tolly Gregory, an ethical fashion blogger. Kristabel Plummer, a London-based fashion blogger, who spoke to the BBC, also recommends 「looking for quality」 and 「longevity」. So keep an eye out for durable, resilient, hardy apparel that resists wear and tear.

詞彙表

garment 衣服,服裝
collection 一系列(新)服裝
attire (特定樣式或正式的)服裝
garb (某種特定樣式的)服裝
disposable 用完即可丟棄的
on-trend 流行的,時尚的
textile 紡織物
fibre(植物或人造)纖維
dye 染色
retail 零售
sewing 縫紉
make do and mend 不買新的而是修補舊的將就過去
threadbare (衣物)穿舊的,磨破的
second-hand 二手的,舊的
vintage 復古的
durable 耐用的
resilient 有彈性的
hardy 結實耐用的
apparel 衣服,服裝
wear and tear 磨損

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. True or False? British people buy the same amount of clothing today as they always have.

2. How do the EAC define ‘fast fashion’?

3. What are the problems associated with using either synthetic or natural fabrics?

4. What does the EAC recommend doing to improve the fast fashion situation?

5. What does Kristabel Plummer recommend doing?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思恰當的單詞填入句子中的空格處。

1. I’m sorry, sir. We can’t let you in with that _______. It’s formal dress only, I’m afraid.

attire                  fabric                           vintage               sewing

2. These hiking boots are so _______. I bought them five years ago and they’re still in great condition.

vintage              threadbare                    sustainable         durable

3. Despite the signs of _______ from use over the years, the dress was in excellent condition.

on-trend            make do and mend        dyeing              wear and tear

4. The house is in terrible condition. The carpets and curtains are _______. It wasn’t looked after at all.

sustainable        threadbare                    textile                 second-hand

5. We need to stop using _______ items. They are extremely wasteful, environmentally speaking.

on-trend            disposable                    sustainable          resilient

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. True or False? British people buy the same amount of clothing today as they always have.
False. The UK buys five times more clothes today than it did in the 1980s.

2. How do the EAC define ‘fast fashion’?
Fast fashion is defined as 「an accelerated fashion business model」 involving 「increased numbers of new fashion collections every year」, 「quick turnarounds」 and 「lower prices」.

3. What are the problems associated with using either synthetic or natural fabrics?
Synthetic fibres have a larger carbon footprint than natural ones, but natural fabrics require more water.

4. What does the EAC recommend doing to improve the fast fashion situation?
Among their eighteen improvements, they recommend increasing tax on purchases to fund recycling centres and introducing more sewing lessons in schools to encourage a make do and mend mentality.

5. What does Kristabel Plummer recommend doing?
She recommends looking for quality and longevity in clothes.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思恰當的單詞填入句子中的空格處。

1. I’m sorry, sir. We can’t let you in with that attire. It’s formal dress only, I’m afraid.

2. These hiking boots are so durable. I bought them five years ago and they’re still in great condition.

3. Despite the signs of wear and tear from use over the years, the dress was in excellent condition.

4. The house is in terrible condition. The carpets and curtains are threadbare. It wasn’t looked after at all.

5. We need to stop using disposable items. They are extremely wasteful, environmentally speaking.