Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Phoebe Godfrey

Honors Major



Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


The fashion industry is a primary contributor to the climate crisis. Fast fashion in particular has accelerated the industry’s harm to the environment by encouraging exceedingly fast production, greater consumption, and the disposability of clothing. It also has social impacts - the working conditions of and wages paid to garment workers consistently endanger their health and well-being, as well as the well-being of their families. Industry-wide changes are needed to solve these environmental and social issues. Collective action plays a crucial role in movements pursuing large-scale change. The environmental movement would benefit greatly from a focus on collective action, but much of the online activism in this movement does not have this as its primary focus. Greenwashing has been a negative development in response to increased social consciousness of the climate crisis. Despite recent environmentally-minded innovation in the fashion industry, including the development of sustainable fibers and green certifications, much more extensive change is needed. A more pronounced online strategy for mobilizing nonactivists to collective action would help build the political power needed to necessitate these changes.

Keywords: Collective action, mobilization, social media, environmentalism, fashion industry, greenwashing

Included in

Sociology Commons