21 April 2017

Fast fashion

Fast fashion is about greed and the biggest cost is to personal expression and the environment. Now is the time to slow down and choose quality over quantity!

Fast fashion is the defining characteristic of today’s 15-second attention span market. Fast in production and fast in consumption, consumers are buying one-third more than five years ago fuelled by superstore value retailers such as H&M and Old Navy.

Fast fashion is all about super-cheap fabrics (that dont hold up for more than 4 washings) and greed. Sell more, make more. NOW! All the while nobody seems to care what those 10$ jeans are doing to our natural resources, environment or the exploitation of cheap labour. Theres a new growing movement in the house, Slow Fashion. Building new visions for fashion in the era of sustainability: where pleasure and fashion are linked with awareness and responsibility.

Fashion as a religion

I’m not traditionally religious, but fashion is my religion and I am a devout fashionista who supports the slow movement. Not only do I get to choose and alter what I want, I get to wear it proudly and it will last ten times longer than anything found at a fast food retail store. But for me the real point goes beyond that, it’s about supporting local designers, the employees they hire, and the local merchants who supply the materials. It gives designers time to build mutually beneficial relationships thus contributing life into the local economy! Thus, creating a different more efficient system where they can make money while respecting the rights of workers and the environment and produce beautiful and conscientious clothes!

Slow fashion is about choice, information, cultural diversity, and identity. Fast fashion has no such balance. It’s like fast food, it is mostly disconnected from reality, with little recognition of poverty wages, forced overtime and climate change. But let’s not let that get in the way of self-absorbed “I dont care” attitudes….

The price to save our environment

Of course, slow fashion means quality and quality costs more. But consider this, buying fewer products higher in value enables a richer interaction between designer and maker, maker and garment, and garment and user. A strong bond of relationships is formed, which goes far beyond the fast fashion chains. Sure, a splurge can mean $300 or more rather than $15 but we can save our money and wait to buy the thing that stops us in our tracks and steals our heart. We can invest in quality that will last beyond next season. Think of it this way, It’s like passing on the salad in order to be really, really hungry for the thing you’ve actually been craving for, the filet minon ( or tofu something or whatever thingy if you prefer). You’ll be so much more satisfied, and when you look back on it one, two, three years from now, most likely you’ll think: Yup I still want to wear this.

Slow fashion is a glimpse of a different – and more sustainable – future for the textile and clothing sector and an opportunity for business to be done in a way that respects workers, environment, and consumers in equal measure. Such a future is but a garment away. So Buy less, wear more.

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