The dark side of fast fashion, is there a solution?
Why is fast fashion bad? The undeniable case for slow fashion
In the 1990s, the New York Times coined the term “fast fashion” to describe Zara’s accelerated production model. Ever since, fast fashion has dominated everyday wardrobes for decades, and are a major player in popular culture. In 2015, Zara's owner briefly became the world's richest man. Although, many have adopted this new approach to fashion. The fast fashion industry has even been praised for making fashion more accessible to people with low incomes. But the overall perception is changing.
The dark side of fast fashion
The production speed of fast fashion is what makes it special; it has a production pace that has never been seen before. As a result, in the past 15 to 20 years, the overall amount of fashion created has doubled, with significant environmental repercussions. Furthermore, this rapid production has a serious flaw because it can't effectively balance supply and demand. Therefore, the majority of the clothing manufactured is destroyed or thrown in the open without ever being worn. Even more concerning, according to Business Insider, the fast fashion sector alone is responsible for 8 to 10% of global carbon emissions at the moment. And compared to what our parents were used to, the quality that consumers receive is unmatched. Even without addressing working conditions, the overall picture is looking really bleak. Simply put, workers are being abused and taken advantage of. Even slave (Uyghurs) and child (mainly Bangladeshi) labor has occasionally been uncovered in the supply chains of top fashion labels.
The psychology of fast fashion
Fast fashion hurts the psychology of the consumer in addition to the environment and humankind. Consumers are encouraged to overconsume because there are always new fashions and collections available, which gives them the impression that they must keep buying in order to be relevant. And it is working. Have you ever noticed that fast fashion brands like Zara rarely advertise? They don't have to because their customers are confident that when they visit a Zara store, they will be surprised by new goods. The average product wear time dropped dramatically by 40% in the last 15-20 years thanks to the new, fast pace of consumption, affordable pricing, and low-quality clothing. Your fast fashion wardrobe is a waste pile that is ready to be burned away, just like the fast fashion chains. This industry is seriously self-destructive in some ways.
The undeniable case for slow fashion
This new fast fashion disease has a cure, and it's called "slow fashion." Slow fashion is a movement or way of doing business that addresses all the problems that fast fashion causes. Most significantly, slow fashion aims to balance supply and demand appropriately, maintains quality, and uses environmentally friendly and morally righteous manufacturing processes and materials. Some slow fashion brands are able to reduce transportation by keeping production close to home. Even better, some implement circular buyback mechanisms to significantly extend product lifetime. All to keep trash away from the wardrobe.
Although slow fashion is not a common known term by the masses, it is gaining traction within some pockets of society. Slow fashion inspired brands are popping up more and more these days.
Want to add to the slow fashion movement? Start changing your wardrobe now. Discover our slow fashion collections here