With so many available alternatives today, it's difficult to understand why fast fashion remains so popular. Fast fashion has been growing rapidly over the last 20 years.
It answers the rising consumers' demand for trendy, affordable clothing. Buying new and cheap clothes from high-street stores is exciting, fun, and pleasurable.
There are so many advantages of fast fashion. It's difficult to resist. The global textile and apparel industry is expanding quickly due to the appeal of fast fashion. Consumers prefer to shop fast fashion over its alternatives: 88% in the United States, 46% in Europe, according to recent research.
The global textile and apparel industry used to be slow and expensive before the industrial revolution. With the advancement of technological innovations, globalization, the Internet, and social media, the fashion industry changed forever.
However, our excessive fast fashion consumption has huge negative consequences. The overproduction and overconsumption of cheaply made clothing produce large amounts of waste, pollution, and carbon emissions.
To better understand this phenomenon and what we can do about it, here are my best articles on fast fashion.
Top 10 Reasons Why Fast Fashion Is So Popular
Before the industrial revolution and globalization, consumers used to invest in high-quality and durable clothes from reputable fashion brands. Buying new clothing was a rare event.
Today's consumers want affordable and new trendy clothing inspired by runway shows. Many are influenced by celebrities and social media personalities.
Consumers are willing to buy imitations and pieces with very low standards. To answer consumers' demand, fast fashion brands and retailers keep pushing for lower labor and raw material costs.
Despite all of its issues, here are the top 10 reasons why fast fashion is so popular.
Who Created Fast Fashion
Fast fashion is everywhere. It's a global and highly successful phenomenon. It has gained massive popularity over the last 20 years for many reasons. How did it all start and who created fast fashion?
Fast fashion was created to answer the rising consumers' demand for new trendy and affordable clothing designed and produced at lightning speed and pushed to high-street stores every week. Zara opened its first store in New York in the early 1990s and the New York Times used the term fast fashion to define Zara's business model.
Fast fashion makes stylish clothes inspired by runway shows available quickly to consumers weekly at an affordable price. Fast fashion garments are cheap and disposable, made to be replaced with new pieces of clothing as fast as possible.
Today's consumers are still more interested in the price and style of clothing they buy than how their clothes are being made. Here is how it all started.
Slow Fashion VS Fast Fashion
Fast fashion makes it easy to purchase new trends every week for a low price. Clothing has a very low lifespan and is only worn a few times if at all before getting thrown away.
Slow fashion is the alternative approach where consumers, brands, retailers, and manufacturers take great responsibility to do right by the people and the environment.
Fast fashion has been around for a long time. New trendy clothes from the runway easily available at low prices made its success.
But fast fashion also has its drawbacks. It is not sustainable, while slow fashion is gaining recognition within the fashion community.
It is important to know the difference and the consequences of our actions. Read on as we compare fast fashion vs slow fashion.
Fast Fashion Brands Accused of Greenwashing
The green movement is booming, especially in the fashion industry. Consumers are realizing the disastrous impact fast fashion brands have on climate change, workers and farmers, animals on land, and in the oceans.
Some fast fashion brands market themselves as eco-friendly when they are not. This is called greenwashing and serves to appeal to eco-conscious consumers. Let's a closer look at why greenwashing is such a common practice and what you can do about it.
Following fast fashion brands and retailers have been accused of greenwashing in the past or recently.
Why Is Fast Fashion A Bad Thing?
Fast fashion has been growing massively over the past 20 years. It's now a global phenomenon. Fast fashion stores can be found everywhere in the world. And consumers' demand for new trendy and affordable clothing keeps rising.
Fast fashion is a bad thing because it has a disastrous social and environmental impact. It creates massive amounts of pollution, waste, and greenhouse gases. It consumes lots of natural resources, water, and energy. And it's responsible for the exploitation and death of people and animals.
Fast fashion encourages consumers to buy more clothes and view them as disposable commodities. Consumers wear fast fashion items only a few times before replacing them with new trends almost immediately.
Here is why fast fashion is a bad thing.
What Are The Alternatives To Fast Fashion
It's difficult to stop buying fast fashion because it's everywhere. The fashion industry wasn't always this way. People used to buy durable and high-quality clothing before the industrial revolution.
The rise of fast fashion was possible due to globalization and the transfer of clothing production in overseas countries, where labor costs are very low.
Fortunately, we have the power to make change happen. We choose the clothes we buy and who we support with our money. By choosing the alternatives to fast fashion, we contribute to making the wasteful fashion industry more regenerative and circular.
Here are the alternatives to fast fashion.
Fast Fashion Abusive Water Consumption
The textile and apparel industry affects the global water crisis in multiple ways. It pollutes rivers and oceans massively all over the world with plastics and toxic chemicals. And so much water is consumed in creating clothing.
The fashion industry is the second-largest polluter of clean water after agriculture globally. It takes 2,700 liters of water to make a conventional cotton t-shirt and tons of toxic chemicals in dyes, fertilizers, and pesticides.
The fashion industry is responsible for the massive consumption of water, energy, and natural resources. It also produces large amounts of pollution, textile waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.
How to Slow Down Fast Fashion
The fashion industry is the second-largest polluting industry in the world. The rise of fast fashion over the last 20 years is responsible for its massive growth but also its very detrimental social and environmental impact.
It's time to slow down fast fashion. The overproduction and overconsumption of cheap clothing generate massive amounts of wastes, pollution, and greenhouse gases.
Slow fashion is an alternative to fast fashion where consumers, brands, retailers, and manufacturers take greater responsibility to do right by people and the environment.
Here are some effective ways to slow down fast fashion.
Top 10 Solutions To The Fast Fashion Industry
Consumers are being influenced to buy constantly by social media personalities, buying recommendations from friends and family, and the latest trends from runway shows.
Our fashion addiction is extremely damaging to the environment. In the meantime, fast fashion brands and retailers are slow to make efforts toward more sustainability in the industry.
Overproduction and overconsumption have led the fast fashion industry to become the second-largest polluter in the world. We have reached record high textile waste, clean water, air, and soil pollution by hazardous chemicals, and increasingly high carbon emissions.
Here are the top 10 solutions to the fast fashion industry.
How To Know If A Store Is Fast Fashion
Fast fashion has been growing in the textile and apparel industry, changing the way we produce and consume clothes forever. Over the last two decades, clothing has become cheaper and disposable. Shopping for new clothes is now a weekly or even a daily event for many consumers.
Fast fashion stores can be easily detected with their low pricing strategy, weekly mass production of new clothes, absence of social standards, and sustainable material certifications.
Overconsumption and overproduction of clothing come with a very high social and environmental cost. The fashion industry has a huge negative impact on the people, the animals, and the planet.
If you want to avoid buying unethical fast fashion and instead pick more eco-responsible clothes, here is how to know if a store is fast fashion.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.