Whilst I have given a brief explanation of what sustainable fashion is, I thought it would be good to also explain what fast fashion is.
Fast fashion became a ‘thing’ back in the 1980s. It would take the trends from the catwalk shows, and produce them at a quicker rate and cheaper prices so that they were more easily accessible for the general public who could not afford the brands and labels.
It is a part of the fashion industry that has been growing and growing ever since it became a thing, and is particularly popular with the young adult/teen age ranges as they are affordable for them.
Now, with the quick production times, and cheap prices, there does of course come a cost. There are major socio-economic and environmental impacts from fast fashion, as a lot of the times the working conditions and wages for those producing the fabrics and making the garments is very poor.
Fast fashion companies are focused more on reducing the costs and maximising the profits.
With some fast fashion retailers bringing out numerous items weekly, or even daily, it is promoting over-consumption, as well as generating excessive waste, as a lot of the garments are such poor quality that they do not last.
Fast fashion is also mostly based on a linear economy, which is basically a take-make-dispose cycle, rather than a circular economy, which focuses on reducing the effects on the environment, reusing and recycling the materials and components of the garment. Fast fashion focuses on the linear economy due to the fact that a lot of the garments are made with multiple fibre materials, leading to them being unable to be recycled. This then means that instead they are usually thrown away when unwanted and either end up in the landfill or incinerated.
Of course, there is a reason why fast fashion is so popular, and that is solely due to the accessibility of trends and new pieces at prices that is otherwise hard to find. Technically, fast fashion retailers have in a way democratised the fashion industry, as it was not originally possible for us common folk to get our hands on trending pieces without a hefty price tag.
But at the end of the day, if us (the consumer) change the way we view fashion and clothing, there wouldn’t be such a demand for ‘fast fashion’, meaning there wouldn’t be such an impact to the environment etc. So really, whilst obviously the retailers can do a lot to make their brands more sustainable, we as consumers can also do a lot as well.
If you have anything to add to what I’ve said, disagree with anything, or have any general thoughts about this, do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your opinions.
I will be going more in depth on my YouTube channel soon about sustainable fashion, so feel free to head over there and subscribe if you want to hear more about my thoughts!
Alexandra Grace XxXx