Have you ever purchased trendy articles of clothing for an extremely low price and found yourself never wearing it again? If so, there’s a good chance that you purchased them from a fast-fashion retailer. Stores such as Forever 21 and Zara are notorious for creating luxury looks more than half the price days after they hit the runway. There are many elements of fast fashion that have an impact on things much larger than just the fashion industry.
Quantity over Quality
Years ago people were used to shopping once for every season, but with companies creating new products daily, it’s hard to even keep count. Retailers are manufacturing in a rush which causes them to create very low-quality merchandise. This allows them to charge incredibly low prices that catch the eye of buyers. The younger generation is so used to shopping constantly and getting rid of clothes that quality is not something they worry about. This urgency in keeping up to date with fashion trends has not made customers pay a lot, but someone somewhere will.
With trends changing at a fast pace, Americans on average generate 82 pounds of textile waste individually each year. Brands continue to use chemicals and synthetic fabrics that get into water supplies in countries where the clothing is made and make its way into homes where clothing is washed. This is also where the humans who make the clothes come into the picture. The health of workers is jeopardized as they are put to work to create these fast fashion items in a timely fashion.
Slowing Down Fashion
Although many fast fashion brands make a ton of money off of their low prices, some do care about the bigger picture. Slow fashion is the complete opposite of fast fashion, wherein this case clothes are designed and created to lower the carbon footprint.
H&M who is one of the largest fast fashion retailers carries a conscious collection of clothing that utilizes recycled materials. Ann-Sofie Johansson, a creative adviser at H&M said the company is committed to creating special pieces of clothing that will last a lifetime. As buyers continue to go into H&M to keep their closet up to date they may notice this sustainability line bringing in new looks at a slower rate and slightly higher prices.