Many of you must be wondering why a Fashion page does not support Fast Fashion? There are many reasons to not support it. We’ll talk about it in this article and I will wait for your comments below to know your thoughts. But first of all, let’s know everything about Fast Fashion; what is it, where did it come from and is it helping the environment.
What is Fast Fashion?
Shopping for clothes used to be an occasional event. People used to shop during the season change or when they outgrew what they already had. Then an era came where clothes became cheaper and trends started changing. People could now easily afford the clothes worn by their favourite celebrities and that too very easily. This is where Fast Fashion came into the picture.
Suddenly everyone could afford clothing that their favourite celebrity wore. It was a too good to be true era!
Fast fashion basically can be described as trendy and cheap clothing that samples ideas from catwalk or celebrity fashion. High-end fashion stores like H&M and Zara turn these clothes into cheap garments at lightning speed.
How Did Fast Fashion Come Into The Picture?
Amancio Ortega lived in Spain and worked as an errand boy who used to deliver fabrics for a local clothing retail store. Eventually, he started dealing with the customer and suppliers and became a senior manager. When not at work Amancio would develop his own designs with the less expensive material left over from the retail store. He used to make a replica of the popular designs of that era and sell those designs to the retail stores. Later in 1963, he started his own company which became one of the biggest fashion retailers on earth; Zara Inditex that you today know as Zara.
The Strategy Followed By Fast Fashion Industries
The leading Fast Fashion Industries follow certain principals to pioneer in the market by using four major principals:
When a company does everything in house from design and manufacturing to selling clothes. This helps the company in streamlining the cost and optimising the production processes.
Fast Fashion hugely relies on feedback from the customers. The designers collect the data on how the product is being used by the customers by doing field research.
Retail Cycle Design:
The emphasis on making clothes is far less than what it once was. It just takes 5 weeks for the industries to complete the cycle. The profits made by the industry is maximum when they produce clothes according to the season.
The savings made by the industry on cheap labour is passed on to the customer. What we don’t understand is that cheap labour comes at a high cost.
What Is Fast Fashion Doing To The World?
The Fashion Industry is huge! These days one out of six people work in the Fashion Industry. Most of these people live in developing countries. Companies like Forever 21 and H&M promised to provide jobs to these people. But the reality is that the fashion industries have been exploiting its workers. They have come under fire for things from Child Labour to forcing its workers to handle hazardous chemical agents. They underpay their workers and make them work for hours without a break.
We have an absurd amount of clothing in our wardrobes and that has become possible because of the clothes these days being disposable.
Fashion Industry’s Impact On The Environment
It’s not just the wardrobes of the people the Fashion Industry is messing up, it’s also the environment. Here are a few examples of what impact the Fast Fashion industry has on the environment:
150 Billion garments are produced each year and 2.5 billion pounds of fabric is wasted every year.
60% of the clothing that people own has increased from 2000 to 2014.
The Fast Fashion Industry is responsible for 10% of the global carbon footprint in the world.
Clothing is recyclable but the number of clothing owned by us is much more than we can recycle!
China has been a top destination for recycled textiles. It has now officially banned recycling textiles.
On the other hand, North America also has banned textile wastes from the landfills. Only 15% of the clothing is recycled in America and the rest of the 85% clothing ends up in landfills.
One of the most popular fabrics is Polyester which is derived from fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. When the fabric is put through a wash, it increases the level of plastic in the oceans as it can shed microfibres.
Just a Reality Check:
Fashion Industry is the second largest water pollutant in the world
Toxic chemicals that are used to dye clothes have been responsible for cancer and deaths.
So, What Can We Do?
- We can always help by shopping at shops that follow sustainable practices.
- Clothes can be used for a longer duration.
- Instead of buying cheap clothes, we can buy durable clothes and use them as much as we can.
- Dye our own clothes using natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals.
- We can always recycle or upcycle clothes and that will help the environment more than you can think.
- Stop buying more and more clothes. Instead, mix and match clothes so they look brand new.
Remember that there is a supply because there is demand. If you lower the demand for fast fashion, the rest will slowly fall in place.
I hope the article above helps you make a decision and help the environment as well. Please let me know in the comments section about your thoughts on how Fast Fashion is ruining our world and what would you like to do about it.