What is fast fashion?
Our consumerist culture encourages shopping and more shopping. Fast fashion arose to meet this insatiable demand. It focuses on creating cheap, poor quality, hyper trendy clothing. It is often poorly assembled and made out of non-biodegradable synthetics. A style produced one month can easily be discarded the next month for a newer style, both by the brand and by the consumer. Instead of donating last month’s styles to shelters and people in need, brands instead let the unsold excess pile up in landfills. Consumers also end up throwing away items, not long after purchase, either because they have fallen apart or to make room for the latest trends from these retailers. It is a never-ending cycle of consumption, waste, and pollution.
Most of this clothing is made half way across the world by people working for shockingly low wages, in dangerous working environments. They are constantly pressured to work faster and produce more. This cruel system is what allows these items to be sold at such bafflingly low prices.
Mass marketing and social media encourage this rampant consumerism by convincing people they need to buy more and more to keep up with the latest trends, fads, and their peers. Rock bottom prices and incessant advertising make it easy to not think twice about buying an item only to wear it once and then discard it.
You might think there is no choice. Well, there is. The slow fashion movement encourages you to choose fewer garments; garments made of high quality materials and created with care. It treats workers with dignity and respect. It demands fair wages and safe, clean working environments. Find and support slow fashion designers and brands that are not just making quality, harm-free products, but also making the world a better place.