As apparel industries produce more styles faster than ever before, shoppers have grown frustrated with keeping up with them all. On average, fast fashion pieces only get worn seven to ten times before they are tossed compared to 15 years of use that was more typical before fast fashion became trendy.
How have we arrived here? Over the past decade, fast fashion retailers like Shein and Boohoo have skyrocketed in popularity through influencer collaborations to promote fleeting trends at affordable prices. This trend has resulted in our shifting our purchasing behavior away from durable pieces in favor of frequent wardrobe updates to satisfy novelty and FOMO cravings – leading us down an unsustainable path toward overconsumption that negatively impacts both people and planet alike.
One of the chief issues with fast fashion is its emphasis on cheap production costs over sustainability. Marketers behind fast fashion strive to deliver runway trends into consumers’ hands as quickly as possible without considering external costs such as worker wages or environmental impacts, leading to garments of poor quality that wear out after only a few washes and may expose workers to harmful chemicals while exploiting domestic animals for profit.
The fast fashion industry is also responsible for contributing a considerable portion of global emissions. Pumping water to irrigate crops (like cotton), running harvesting machinery and general transport are major sources of emissions in this sector. Without efforts made to reduce waste in this sector, fashion could account for 8-10% of worldwide carbon footprint by 2050!
As fast fashion can have a devastating impact on the environment, there are ways that can be done to combat it by ditching fast fashion. Starting by purchasing clothing from companies that prioritize longevity and ethical working conditions is one step. Second hand items may also help minimize waste entering landfills; additionally it’s wise to invest in secondhand fast fashion pieces that no longer seem fashionable to reduce landfill space usage. Finally it is key that fast fashion garments be cared for properly to extend their lifespan by placing them in lingerie bags for storage before washing on delicate cycles to prolong longevity.
Are You Ready for Slow Fashion? If you are ready to embrace slow fashion, the first step should be donating any unwanted fast fashion pieces to a thrift store or charity shop in your local community. Not only will this keep them out of landfills but can help save money for higher quality items that will outlive fast fashion trends; saving up for sustainable basics such as T-shirts made of organic cotton or denim made from recycled materials will help – or even refashioning some current favorite garments with patchwork or embroidery is another good way of avoiding fast fashion trends!