Dialogue/Debate Worksheet: Fast Fashion – The True Cost of Clothes (Intermediate-Advanced)

In this fashion debate worksheet, you are going to find ESL conversation exercises that will help students to discuss and debate on the topic of fast fashion, ethical fashion, and sustainability practices in the fashion industry.

The worksheet includes a “For and Against” exercise to help students create constructive arguments that would support their stands in the debate. The exercises are tailored to intermediate-advanced (B2-C1) students.

Preparation Notes for the Teacher

Required time: 45 min

To prepare: 

Discuss the topic of fast fashion and sustainability with your students.

At the beginning of the class, ask your students if they have heard about the concepts of fast fashion and ethical fashion and if they know the difference between these two. Then, ask students if they have any idea where the clothes they usually buy are produced and how much their clothes really cost to produce?

Give them a brief introduction on the topic (exploitation of labor, pollution, child labor, consumerism, low quality, non-durable materials). 

Play the video (embedded below): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLfNUD0-8ts

Next, make a “For and Against” list together with your students on the topic.

Instruct students to do Exercise B and C. 

Finally, divide students into 2 teams and have a “For and Against” debate on the topic “Alternatives to Fast Fashion: A Green Dream of the Near Future?”

Fast Fashion – The True Cost of Clothes 

In this worksheet, you will find exercises that will help you learn useful phrases, questions, and conversation tips that you can use when discussing/ debating on topics like fast fashion, ethical fashion, sustainability, etc.

Think about where do you and most people typically buy clothes, discuss this briefly with your class and your teacher, then answer questions in Exercise A and Exercise B.

Read the questions before answering to make sure you understand them.

EXERCISE A. Fast Fashion (For and Against)

1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of fast fashion with your class and teacher, then write them into the table below. Write minimum 5 arguments per column.


EXERCISE B. True or False?

2. Watch the video “The true cost of fast fashion | The Economist”, then mark the statements below as True or False.

1) To tackle throwaway culture, consumers, and brands must change their behaviors.

2) Only low-class people buy fast fashion clothes.

3) Rent the Runway tackles the problem with throwaway culture.

4) Mohammed dislikes the idea of fast fashion.

5) Rent the Runway rents 20% fast fashion clothes.

6) Patagonia used to be a fast-fashion brand that turned to sustainability. 

7) One of Patagonia’s mottos is “Don’t throw it, fix it.”

8) Savana Rags is a recycling clothes factory.

9) New York fashionista Ijeoma is mostly interested in high-end fashion.

10) Most of the 80 billion clothing products go to waste.

EXERCISE C. Vocabulary

3. Match the words/ phrases (a-h) to their meanings (1-8).

a) castoffs
b) to tackle
c) unprecedented rate
d) garments
e) swanky
f) to follow suit
f) hefty
h) flagship store

1) Items of clothing
2) To deal with something in a determined and efficient way
3) Impressively large or expensive
4) Something that is no longer wanted (especially a garment)
5) The lead store in a retail chain as a showcase for the brand.
6) Stylishly luxurious and expensive
7) To conform to another’s actions.
8) Something that is very great in quality, amount or scale.

EXERCISE D.  Debate/Discussion

4. Make 2 teams and have a “For and Against” debate on the topic “Alternatives to Fast Fashion: A Green Dream of the Near Future?” Make sure to support each idea with at least one argument.

Download this worksheet (including key) in Word and PDF doc format (zipped)

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