Fashion trends come and go. Fashionistas follow these passing fads. But little did they realize how fast fashion may be devastating in many ways.
Fast fashion is a new phenomenon in the industry, causing extreme damage to the planet, exploiting workers, and harming animals. Following fast fashion may make you look stylish, but there are perils too! Fast fashion is cheap, and trendy, but doesn’t stay long. So, is investing in these kinds of trends worth it?
Read below to know more.
What is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion may be defined as cheap, trendy clothing sampling ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turning them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet the increasing demands of the customers. The idea is to get the newest styles in the market as quickly as possible so that the shopaholics and trendsetters may follow them while they are still at the peak of their popularity.
Unfortunately, these trends do not last long. The clothing is discarded after only a few wears. Fast fashion also calls repeating outfits a fashion mistake, and if you want to keep it stylish, you must sport new looks. The whole production forms a part of the toxic system of overproduction and consumption, making fast fashion one of the top reasons for polluting the environment.
Why Does Fast Fashion Exist?
The increasing influencer culture on social media platforms is pressurizing all fashion enthusiasts to rely on fast fashion to stay stylish. As a result, they do not give second thoughts to buying what’s trending in the market. The rising insurgence of online shopping is another reason fast fashion is spreading by leaps and bounds.
With advancements in textile technology, synthetic fabrics are easier and cheaper to mass-produce than less environmentally costly fabrics. It has become hard for people to resist the temptation of buying cheap and trendy clothing and getting it delivered to their doorstep. No matter the environmental cost, more people are following this concept.
How Did Fast Fashion Come into Being?
If we dig down the history, it is not how clothing production was carried out. Before the sewing machine was invented during Industrial Revolution, buying clothes was a slow, expensive, and cumbersome process. But with the advancement of technology, fashion production increased dramatically, thus, resulting in tragic sweatshop disasters. However, for decades, the fashion industry ran on a limited schedule, producing new pieces only four times a year.
Fashion designers would often plan pieces months in advance, trying to predict the trend their customers wanted to see in the market. The whole phenomenon solidified in the mid-2000s. It was when brands began to launch tons of micro-seasons with new products available every week. Consequently, it became easy for the consumers to imitate the wardrobe of their favorite celebrity. The high expectations from the consumers led to brands producing more pieces faster without realizing their dangerous effects.
Why is Fast Fashion So Bad?
As a consumer and fashion lover, you may feel fast fashion is an incredible concept that lets you can buy the trendiest outfits at dirt-cheap prices. However, all that glitters isn’t gold. It has a negative side too.
A Huge Environmental Impact
Fast fashion demands massive production, which results in many environmental issues created by supply chains. The materials like synthetic fabrics create toxic waste during production, seeping into the local environment. It does not only hurt the land, soil, and water but animals as well.
Tons of CO2 are produced per year in the manufacturing process, thus harming the environment in a way you cannot imagine.
Exploitation of Workers
When you shop for a piece of clothing, you do not realize how many people are engaged in its production. From making the textile, cutting the fabric to sewing it together, everything is done by people, not machines. The workers in this industry face dangerous working conditions on daily basis, exposing themselves to toxic chemicals, poor air quality, and overcrowding.
Such factors also lead to an accident. Moreover, these workers are compensated properly. According to a survey, these workers are underpaid.
The permanent damage and exploitation of workers because of fast fashion are only worsening. Shoppers have new expectations forcing the brands to move toward fast fashion models. Many consumers shop with a belief that the clothes should cost under $15 instead of acknowledging the amount of labor going into the production. This consumer culture is also making people competitive, thereby compromising their confidence to a great extent.
How Can I Avoid Fast Fashion?
If you care about the environment even a little bit, we advise you not to tempt by the growing culture of fast fashion. Here is how you can fight it at home and defend your planet.
- You can ensure your clothing choices without harming the environment by paying attention to where you shop. Always choose sustainable and ethical fashion brands. It will ensure your carbon footprint remains low.
- Buy high-quality clothing. When you shop any garment from a good brand, it ensures longevity, thus lessening your requirement of buying more.
- You can opt for a capsule wardrobe. Buying timeless clothing pieces and mixing and matching them with different outfits and accessories ensure that your fashion sense doesn’t look boring. It also stops you from buying more.
- Donate or sell your gently used clothing once you have outgrown the same. It will also help other people to buy clothes at a cheap price.
- If you do not want to donate outfits that no longer inspire you, share your closet with your friends. Swapping clothes is a good idea to access a new wardrobe without wasting your money and damaging the environment.
- Buy or rent second-hand clothing to save money, reduce your carbon footprint and embrace used clothing. You can turn to thrift stores on social media platforms and fight fashion without looking less fashionable.
- Recycling textiles and garments is another idea to reduce the landfills arising from fast fashion. Check out clothing recycling centers near you or contact your fashion retailer to check if they collect textile donations.
- Repurpose your old clothing in different ways. For instance, you can use your old tee shirt for cleaning or mopping the floor. Make quilts, scarves, and stuffed animals from the old pieces.
Unfollow the fast-fashion culture now!