Isn’t it nice to walk into your favorite fashion retailer and see a t-shirt on sale for only $5? Have you ever wondered how a retailer can sell a shirt at such a low cost while maintaining high turnovers? This phenomenon is known as fast fashion.
Fast Fashion Explained
Fast fashion refers to clothes designed and produced at a low cost. These clothes are often made by machines or mass-produced by factories with harsh working environments. The fast fashion industry’s primary focus is to keep up with trends and supply stores with the latest fashion at an affordable rate.
Fast fashion makes it easy for us to keep up with trends. Retailers offer copies of high-fashion pieces that we can throw out once they aren’t considered “in” anymore.
Suppose you’re going to a cocktail party. The first thing that comes to mind is the outfit. Thanks to fast fashion, you can go online, order a dress, shoes, and a fitting clutch bag that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The next time you go out, you don’t have to wear that same dress because ordering a new one is effortless and inexpensive.
The fast-fashion garments we buy are of low quality, and they don’t last very long. We end up throwing out a good deal of clothes, and we keep buying new items. We fill our wardrobes with clothes that we don’t wear.
Fast fashion has a dark side. Textile waste overwhelms landfills, and most of the materials aren’t biodegradable. Mass-producing factories recycle less than 1% of the material used to make new clothes.
Fast fashion is a thirsty business. Cotton plants are water-intensive. A study proved that it takes approximately 650 gallons of water to produce a single t-shirt.
The ugly truth is that fast fashion has a detrimental impact on the environment. The fast-fashion industry’s high cost is undeniable, and it’s our responsibility to look for eco-friendly alternatives.
A sustainability pioneer, Kate Fletcher, came up with the term “slow fashion.” Slow fashion acts ethically towards the environment and focuses on eco-friendly initiatives. The industry prioritizes quality over quantity and produces clothes that will last a lifetime.
Slow-fashion designers make use of natural, recycled, and upcycled material. Production takes place on a small scale. Garments are often handcrafted or assembled by only a few factory workers. These items are of high quality. Although they’re expensive, they’re investments.
Slow fashion is all about exclusivity. Garments are available in limited amounts and aren’t designed according to trends. You don’t have to buy clothes for every season in the long run, and your clothes will last for as long as you take care of them.
Slow-fashion designers produce ethical garments. They keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. At the same time, factory workers receive a fair wage and work in quality-controlled environments.
Slow fashion items are expensive. You won’t be able to buy as many clothes as in the fast fashion industry, and you’ll have fewer options in your wardrobe. It would be hard to keep up with trends and to buy clothes for each season. Taking care of these items can be costly.
The Price Tag Doesn’t Measure Sustainability
If you’re buying a t-shirt at $150 apiece, it doesn’t mean that you are supporting a sustainable industry. Famous brands use fast-fashion production to their advantage. They have us pay high prices for low-quality items made by underpaid factory workers.
Dress to Sustain
Sustainable dressing might sound unachievable because of high prices and limited availability. Yet, you don’t need to break the bank or throw out all your fast fashion items. The first step to dressing eco-friendly is awareness. Think about the environment’s cost before buying that cute green top with the avocados on the rounded pockets.
Here are Some Tips for Dressing Sustainably
Buy less low-quality clothes. Save monthly to buy one or two garments that you can wear in all four seasons.
Look for eco-friendly clothes in second-hand stores. The longevity of these garments means that you can sell your clothes if you don’t find them useful any longer.
Find your personal style and don’t try to follow trends. It’s good to buy items that are timeless or even vintage.
Ask tailors what materials they make use of and the origin. Quite often, you’ll
learn more about the material and what to look out for on your next shopping venture.
Take good care of your garments. Follow the washing instructions and don’t wash them too frequently.
Buying slow-fashion items might come at a high price. However, it’s priceless compared with the devastating effects of the fast fashion industry. The production of these garments is ethical and doesn’t cost much to the environment.
Sustainable fashion retailers pour their heart and soul into each stitch and sometimes go to great lengths to find and refine natural materials. Reduce your carbon footprint and purchase clothes that have a story to tell.