It’s time to take a break from the fad of rapid fashion, which is also wasteful.
What does the popular term “quick fashion” actually mean? As we fight to steer the fashion industry toward a greener, more ethical future, it is crucial that we are aware of the difficulties we confront.
A trend in the fashion business known as “rapid fashion” involves the speedy production, marketing, and sale of enormous numbers of clothing. Fast fashion clothing manufacture takes use of trend reiteration and low-quality materials to provide end users inexpensive fashions (like synthetic fabrics).
According to this article, “rapid fashion” is harmful for the environment, the workers who create clothing, animals, and consumers’ wallets.
These cheaply constructed but aesthetically beautiful objects are to blame for an industry-wide shift toward excessive consumerism. Everyone is negatively impacted by this, including the environment, clothing industry workers, animals used for testing, and wallets of consumers.
Read on to find out more about the history, reasons for, and outcomes of the fast fashion trend. If you’re looking for some moral substitutes for the sector, take a look at our list of 35 Sustainable Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion.
A Synopsis of the Fashion Industry
The fashion business did not start to deviate from the conventional four-season calendar of autumn, winter, spring, and summer until roughly the middle of the twentieth century. Each season’s planners would put in a significant amount of time months in advance to attempt and predict what buyers would like to wear. This process was more deliberate than current fashion, yet it nevertheless stripped the wearers of their uniqueness. Before being made accessible to the general public, high society fashion had to go by a set of rules.
A well-timed advertising effort for paper clothing in the 1960s demonstrated that the general public was ready for the rapid fashion craze. The result was that the clothing sector sped up its procedures and cut costs.
Fast fashion companies now issue one new “collection” per week, or 52 “microseasons” per year, leading to enormous volumes of waste and consumption.
Only a few decades later did fast fashion, however, reach an unstoppable tipping point. According to the Sunday Style Times, “boho chic” became popular in the middle of the 2000s.
Fast fashion brands now introduce 52 “microseasons” per year, or one new “collection” per week. According to author Elizabeth Cline, this started in the early 2000s when Zara started receiving fresh inventory every two weeks. Since then, keeping an excessive amount of inventory on hand by shops has been the standard, reducing pressure on clothes makers to prevent shortages. By fast reacting to streetwear and fashion week trends in real time, these firms are able to continually develop new, popular products. So that their consumers never run out of options, the businesses can stock up on an abundance of clothing.
Are you against quick fashion?
Many debate whether the sudden rise in desire for new fashions or the success of the industry’s top figures in persuading us that we’re already out of date the moment we spot a new trend occurred first. It’s hard to say, but it’s apparent that in our consumer-driven culture, we aspire for greater things all the time. Has anyone watched the movie “10 Things I Hate About You?”
With this faster rate of manufacturing and questionable supply systems, there will inevitably be shortcuts. Clothing created in a hurry and of exceedingly poor quality is being sold by brands. There is no time for quality control or making sure a garment has the right amount of buttons when there is an urgent need to dress a sizable population.
Because of the subpar manufacturing practises and the brief useful lives of the clothing, the fast-fashion business produces a lot of waste. The same sense of urgency that places quality as a secondary concern also maintains the extraordinarily low pricing of these items. Retailers like Topshop and Fashion Nova are very concerned with their bottom lines and depend heavily on the “ocean of clothing” they manufacture for their profitability.
Because of the volume of sales, brands like these can offer so many products at such low costs without having to worry about their profit margins. And it’s safe to infer that the earnings of garment workers are considerably less than the absolute minimum. Fast fashion isn’t free, as journalist and author Lucy Siegle eloquently stated in the film “The True Cost. Someone, someone, needs to cover the expense.
Fast fashion carries a cost. Someone needs to pay that bill
The moral boundaries start to blur, though, when you consider how much more accessible and size-inclusive quick fashion may be. Even while many individuals would support ethical fashion if they could afford it, the high costs and a lack of available sizes continue to be barriers.
Effects of fast fashion on society and the environment
Fast fashion has an adverse effect on the environment and the people who manufacture the clothing by mass producing low-quality products in large quantities and selling them for low costs.
Companies like Boohoo employ synthetic textiles, hazardous dyes, and toxic chemicals that leak into water systems. The United States also discards 11 million tonnes of clothing each year. Lead, insecticides, and other chemical-contaminated clothing is difficult to breakdown. They are discarded in landfills instead, where they expose the environment to hazardous substances. Fast fashion has a carbon impact that is comparable to the airline and oil industries.
Many of us have heard of the sweatshops run by Nike, but they are only one of many fast fashion companies that violate human rights in the name of style.
Fast fashion has a harmful impact on the environment as well as the health of the general public and those who work in the apparel business. The chemical benzothiazole has been found in modern garments and has been connected to a number of cancer and respiratory disorders. The body’s greatest organ is the skin, therefore wearing these shoddy-made clothes can be bad for our health.
Fast fashion production sites, neighbourhoods, and private residences are all at higher danger. According to the Environmental Health Journal, conventional textile dying, for example, has been connected to the discharge of “heavy metals and other toxicants that might significantly effect the health of animals as well as neighbouring residents” into local water systems.
The health of those who work in the garment industry is always at risk because to their continual exposure to toxic toxins. Not to mention the demanding schedule, pitiful compensation, dearth of supplies, and occasionally even physical abuse. Although many of us have heard about Nike’s sweatshops, this is only one instance of the several fast fashion businesses that abuse human rights to reach their deadlines. We have no other choice except to have our apparel created by underpaid, underfed, and overworked workers. Instead, we should actively support the employees in the apparel sector as they struggle for improved compensation and working conditions.
Characteristics of Popular Fashion Lines
To identify fast fashion brands whether you’re shopping online or in person, continue reading:
Look for a business that can make your desired item rapidly; are there weekly introductions of new styles?
Check to see whether a brand is simply selling copies of the looks from the most recent runway events.
Watch out for synthetic materials and outfits with poor construction that were made to last only a few washes.
Look into the production locations to discover if they are found in nations where the minimum wage is insufficient to provide for the workers.
Look at whether the pricing are reasonable and whether new products are frequently presented with the threat of steep discounts if they fail to sell.
Influx of leisurely attire
There are inspiring organisations, groups, and people out there battling for the environment and the security of garment workers.
The most flagrant illustration of the fashion industry’s violent behaviour toward people and the environment is fast fashion. Though escaping the consumerist patterns of our culture may be difficult, there are workable alternatives.
Instead, slow fashion encourages careful manufacture (which might include vertical integration and in-house manufacturing), adherence to the rights of workers, the use of environmentally friendly materials, and the durability of the clothing. It is encouraging to know that organisations, teams, and people are fighting for the rights of garment workers and the environment.
Buying clothing from ethical labels, advocating for social responsibility and accountability, and doing secondhand shopping are all fantastic methods to uphold individual agency and demonstrate concern for the welfare of others and the environment.
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