When we hear the term ‘Fast Fashion’, the first thing that comes to our mind is — low price, cheap quality and mass production. We are constantly bombarded with the terms Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion in the media today. What really is the difference? Is Fast Fashion really all that bad for the environment and also your wallet? Let’s take a look!
What is Fast Fashion?
Fast Fashion is the trend where multiple fashion collections are mass produced and marketed to sell in a very short span of time. Fast Fashion brands draw their inspiration from the latest fashion trends, what is hot with A-Listers and catwalks. These designs are then mass produced in a very short time period, compromising on quality and marketed at a cheaper price point. Aim of this game is to capitalise on what’s relevant in the current market, faster than anyone else.
As you can imagine, this race to be the first comes with costs, often borne by others but these fast fashion brands.
The most significant downside of fashion industry is its negative impact on the environment. Fashion industry being the 2nd largest polluter in the world, only dethroned by the oil industry, Fast Fashion has accelerated this unwarranted journey to the top. In this age of social media that’s driven by instant gratification, “looking great for the gram” is driving consumer behaviour over conscious spend. It has been instilled in our minds that we need to sport the latest trends to stay relevant and your social worth is predicated by the likes and comments you receive.
This mindset gave birth to a phenomenon that is the “throw away” culture. This is where consumers who are influenced by social media fanatics buy cheap clothes to show-off on their Instagram and tossing them in the bin after a wear or two.
But you can donate these clothes to Salvos, can’t you? Let’s explore that.
The Fast Fashion industry competes through their low-price points and as a business to prevail, they need to increase their profit margins. This drives these brands to lower costs, using their higher volumes as a bargaining chip. This influence will force manufacturers to offer cheaper, sometimes inhumanly extorted and illegal labour practices, coupled with cheaper quality fabrics and manufacturing practises. Horror stories we hear from Bangladesh garment manufacturing are some unfortunate examples of this. Such brands cater to a consumer who would wear them few times and throw away so focusing on lasting quality is counterintuitive.
“If you wouldn’t lend it to a friend or give it to a friend, don’t donate it. Cheap, mass-produced clothes are often in no shape to be handed down so Australian charities are forced to dispose of them.”
Omer Soker, the CEO of National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) said to ABC News. Australian charitable organisations are spending an overwhelming $13 million per year to send these cheap clothing to landfills since they are in no shape to be handed down to someone else. You may have good intentions by handing these cheaply manufactured clothes to your local Salvos, but an overwhelming majority will end up in landfill, adding more to the issue.
What is Slow Fashion?
Slow Fashion is where fashion brands focus on delivering clothes of high quality, durable and unique designs. Slow Fashion trends cater to a consumer who is fashion conscious and informed of the impact of clothes they wear. These brands are designers who value craftsmanship and high-quality fabrics over being the first to capitalise what’s hot. Silhouettes represents brand as well as consumer values and are designed to last longer than few seasons to come. Slow Fashion price points reflect the great attention to detail, quality of fabrics and lasting durability that makes them a conscious investment.
To get a better insight about the design and development process, read our article on “steps of fashion manufacturing”.
Slow fashion brands will always acknowledge the fact that they are not perfect. They understand the impacts they bring upon the world and they are responsible about them. Slow Fashion trend encourages fashion brands to offer premium quality garments that can be handed down once you feel that you have grown out of it or it is no longer your style, which will slow the rate of landfill contribution from the fashion industry.
In the last couple of years, people have been more informed regarding impacts of Fast Fashion vs Slow Fashion and you as a consumer holds the ultimate power through your buying patterns. Fashion brands are now rather exposed in their processes and fabrics they use, and consumers are more educated of their actions. At AMOS Label, we are always focused on making our brand better for the consumer as well as the planet that we live in. Reducing our carbon footprint is one of our goals and priorities for the future. While we also are not perfect, we are constantly taking measures and making adjustments to create a difference through our methods. As we are a brand that do follow Slow Fashion, our products will cater to a community of individuals that appreciate these efforts as well as the unique style and fit.