We have all heard this term; the words “fast fashion” can hold several meanings for people who are unsure about what it is, how it is impacting our society, and the pros and cons associated with it. This is a contemporary term which is used to describe the inexpensive designs that fashion retailers move from the catwalk to the society, in order to keep up with the current fashion trends. It is a model of mass-producing cheaply made items sold at a lower price point. However, there have been many remarks on this stating that it not only moves from the runway to the consumer, but also to the garbage.
As a result of this trend, introducing new fashion lines on a traditional seasonal term is being challenged. Our community needs to understand ways to move past fast fashion onto more sustainable ways of fashion. Fast fashion utilizes trend replication, rapid production, and low quality materials to bring inexpensive styles to the public. Many of the companies that fall under the “fast fashion” category tend to be the ones consumers enjoy as they are currently replicating streetwear and fashion trends as they are born. Because the clothing is made in such a rapid manner, the brands are selling fairly low quality merchandise, leaving lots of pieces to the garbage at the end of the day.
The main takeaway we need to get from this concept is that it is harming the environment, depleting sources, leading to a non-sustainable environment, and also harming our wallets. So how does it harm the environment? Every year, about 11 million tons of clothing is simply thrown away in the US alone. Some garments and accessories have dangerous amounts of lead in them and the exposure can lead to an increase in one’s risk of infertility, heart problems, and more. In fact, the people who make fast fashion clothing have been confirmed to be underpaid, underfed, and pushed to their limits because there are very little options.
Many brands that you may be obsessed with are fast fashion brands. This term has been associated with many big brands such as H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and Topshop.
In order to reduce our use of fast fashion, here are a variety of solutions:
- Buy less
- Buy clothes from sustainable brands
- Buy better quality (slow fashion)
- Think twice before throwing out your clothes
- Get hand-me-downs, rent, etc.
- Watch what you are washing