What is fast fashion?
Wikipedia definition: Fast fashion is a contemporary term used by fashion retailers for designs that move from the catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends. Fast fashion clothing collections are based on the most recent fashion trends presented at Fashion Week in both the spring and autumn of every year.
Unfortunately the fleeting and mass produced nature of fast fashion has many negative environmental impacts. Companies strive for turning over the maximum profit above considering ethical production. Its not just Boohoo that essentially use modern slavery, many brands like H&M and Zara now have “Sustainable” clothing lines that they seem to use as a distraction from the damage they are responsible for.
It is often the case that companies outsource their production to garment workers who don’t make a fair living wage. They do this for inexpensive production of clothing that is usually short lived and made by people having to put up with poor working conditions for a much less then fair wage.
Over 100 billion items of clothing are made per year, for a global population of only 7.7 billion.
30% of fast fashion is never sold. It goes straight to waste.
Fast fashion produces 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse emissions annually. This scale of production is not sustainable, it is harming people and the planet.
Fast fashion is responsible for 92 million tons of waste dumped in landfills every year.
It is the second largest polluter after the oil industry!
Some Alternatives To Fast Fashion:
The best alternative is not to buy new clothing at all, but to look after the clothes you already own so you can continue to wear those, mending items if you can. @venetialamanna on Instagram is a great source of inspiration for “OOTDs” (old outfit of the day).
Clothing swap shops! These come in the form of pop up events and less temporary shops. You just take a bunch of clothing you no longer wear and swap them out for second hand items that are new to you! Swap shops are often free or require only a small (sometimes optional) donation to charity. Try searching for clothing swap shop events near you on Facebook.
Depop. This is one of my favourite apps, there is no shortage of beautiful vintage pieces, affordable second hand staples and small business that are more likely to truly prioritise sustainability compared to any high street brand that claims to have a sustainable fashion line. Search for any kind of piece you’re after and you are bound to find it on Depop. You can also sell your old clothing on Depop very easily, no need for it to end up in landfill! Check out some of my favourite Depop sellers: @janettojo , @susamusa , @micromall , @selenasshop , @5thseason
Charity Shops. If you have a restricted budget charity shops are a fantastic resource for fairly priced second hand items. They are often great for basic clothing items, but if you dig a little you can definitely find some gems. If you are shopping at charity shops be aware that often the clothing in them can be the only option for people with little money. So be mindful, don’t forget to donate your own preloaded items and avoid using them too regularly, they are not to be viewed as cheap versions of vintage shops.
Vintage. Vintage shops come in a wide range of the reasonably priced to the very pricey. They can be found online and on high streets, so are easily accessible. I would recommend looking in vintage shops if you’re searching for occasion clothing, you never know what they might have.