The Real Cost Of Fast Fashion
The term ‘fast fashion’ has been circulating around our news platforms as we are urged to turn our focus on to the climate crisis in recent years. So, what exactly does this term refer to?
The nickname was coined to encapsulate the rapid, overconsumption motivated business model which so many mainstream brands have adopted to keep their sales and profits high but in an unethical, unsustainable way that negatively impacts our planet.
To achieve this, brands will create many micro-seasons in which they churn out new garments to make sure it’s impossible to keep up with the latest trends and so forth encouraging overspending. This leaves buyers ending up with vast quantities of garments which are poor quality, outdated and unnecessary. These textiles are often made in unsafe working conditions in developing countries where employees can be paid extremely low wages and the same policies as established in the UK, can be dodged. For example, many who are employed are young children.
Due to these factors, these garments are often carelessly thrown away after only one or a few wears and end up in landfill. Some examples of popular fast fashion brands include SHEIN, Zara, Pretty Little Thing, Primark, Urban Outfitters and Topshop. Unfortunately, the end for these practices does not appear to be in sight as global consumption has risen to 62 million tons of apparel per year and is expected to rise to 102 million by 2030. Fast fashion is also responsible for 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year, while it’s estimated to use around 1.5 trillion litres of water annually.
A lesser known fact about these brands is that the chemicals used in dyes on these cheap fabrics can penetrate through to our skin and expose us to health issues including terminal ailments such as breast and prostrate cancer. It is unsettling and true that children are particularly vulnerable to these risks.
On the contrary, to describe the opposing environmental movement, the term ‘slow fashion’ has emerged as small businesses and consumers take back control over our spending habits and priorities. To partake in slow fashion would mean to invest intentionally in pieces that are made to last, to re-wear pre-existing garments including vintage and to support independent brands who are passionate about fair wages, quality control and minimizing their impact on the planet. We can guarantee that when you shop with us, you are making an ethical choice and your purchases are quality checked so they are upheld to the highest vintage standard.