Fast Fashion
  • Fashion shifted to high gear in the last twenty years when trends started cropping up faster and clothes became inexpensive.
  • Shopping used to be an occasional indulgence earlier, but due to online shopping and rising income, it has become a hobby.
  • Fast fashion is clothing that is cheap but is copied from the trendy designs taken from big fashion brands, celebrities and the catwalk runway.
  • The newest styles are brought to the market so that customers can buy them while the trend is still hot, at a fraction of the cost of the original.
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Before the industrial revolution happened, fashion was slow, where we had to buy cloth material, and get it stitched. Most of the weaving and preparing of clothes was done on our own.

The sewing machine made cloth making easier and cheaper, and tailors started catering to the middle class. By the 60s and the 70s, clothes became personal expressions, and by the turn of the millennium, low-cost fashion was everywhere.

A few key factors that have the stamp of fast fashion:

  1. Thousands of different styles, most of the latest trends.
  2. Short turnaround time.
  3. Outsourcing of manufacturing to cheap, low-wage countries.
  4. A limited quantity of products.
  5. Usage of cheap material like polyester, making the garments non-durable.
  • Use of toxic textile dyes, a sharp increase in water pollution.
  • The use of cheap material sheds microfibres and increases levels of plastic in the oceans.
  • Millions of litres of water wastage.
  • Erosion of soil.
  • Textile waste filling the planet.
  • The toxic dyes and plastic waste released in the water is ingested by sea life. Fake fur sold to customers who care about animals is often the real fur of cats and dogs, which is cheaper to obtain than fake/faux fur.
  • Low-wage workers, often underage, work in dangerous environments and lack basic human rights. They work with toxic chemicals which have a long-lasting impact on their bodies.
  • Fast fashion encourages consumers to shop more and throw away the cheap clothes after a few wears, reaching for the newest trend.
  • The designers cry about the illegal mass-producing of their creative designs.
  • Fast fashion creates a constant sense of updating the wardrobe and fuels dissatisfaction.
  • Millennials have not fallen for fast fashion, and understand that mindless consumerism of cheap clothing is unessential and bad for the planet.
  • A green movement is underway for sustainable fashion using recycled clothes, which is welcome by the new generation.

As British designer Vivienne Westwood says: Buy Less, Choose Well and Make It Last.

  1. Buying fewer clothes, and reusing the ones you already own by styling them in creative ways is the first step.
  2. Choose eco-friendly materials, and buy second-hand if possible.
  3. Wear them till they wear out, repairing them when they get torn, and recycling them when discarding.

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