Fast Fashion and why we need to reconsider it
It’s become really popular these days to talk about “fast fashion” and you can just hear the words throwing around the news, in conversations, on a lot of influencers’ websites or Instagram pages and you cannot be not wondering what in fact is all the fuss about.
We are going to point you in a direction so that you become aware of what is going on and how you can contribute to it. Still we don’t have all the facts, but we want to raise awareness J
What is fast fashion?
According to Investopedia, fast fashion is a term used by fashion retailers to describe inexpensive designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends. As a result of this trend, the tradition of introducing new fashion lines on a seasonal basis is being challenged.
Today, it is not uncommon for fast-fashion retailers to introduce new products multiple times in a single week to stay on-trend.
So now that you know the definition of it, let us explain a little more. A lot of brands these days seem to come up with new trends every week, if not more frequently. While years ago we had changes of trends every 3rd of 4th month with season changes.
They have been doing this so that when a new trend comes, they make clothes in huge batches and sell them to customers at lower costs. Fast fashion uses rapid production and low quality materials so that it can offer the pieces at inexpensive prices and customers buy more and new designs as the trends change and they do quite often. Trying to “play” the customer’s mind and releasing new collections every week.
Why is it concerning?
As we said, fast fashion produces inexpensive clothing made of shitty materials that we all know with a couple of wears, it will become stretched, lose color and elasticity and for sure be thrown out. For you it may mean the end of it, but it’s not really gone.
Worn out pieces end up having a large impact on the environment and the people who are involved in the process of making it. Some of the brands who encourage fast fashion use toxic chemicals as dyes and synthetic fabrics, just because it’s the cheaper way.
Those kinds of chemicals and pesticides are very hard when it comes to breaking down and plus they release these toxins into the air. Think about putting them on to your skin. And then think about the workforce that spend hours in production to make the clothes for minimum wage.
So how can you contribute and make a statement in all this?
You may think that with a single contribution not much changes, but you have to start somewhere. Sure we all love finding inexpensive pieces of clothing, styling it and then maybe forget about it in the closet. But remember, every action comes with a consequence.
We need to stay strong, every beginning and new experience can be hard, but we are going to break it down into several stages to make those first steps easier on you.
FIRST OF ALL, START LEARNING
It sounds so theoretical, but in fact is very important. You have your start here in this blog, but there is so much detailed information, articles, documentaries and much more that can further elaborate on how far has fast fashion’s negative effects come.
After reading it, we believe you won’t feel as comfortable as before when you go into a store that produces fast fashion only. It can be a new journey for you and you can be able to tell others about the negatives of fast fashion and how you made the first steps into taking a part of steadying it down. It will make you the cool and conscious friend in the group ;).
Here are some documentaries that we believe may help:
- The True Cost
- The Machinist
- Bitter Seeds
- Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price
And www.fashionrevolution.org writes all about how their vision is to raise public awareness and educate people about the systemic challenges facing the global fashion industry, helping everyone understand the impact of their clothing choices, inspire to consume less, and so much more.
UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TERMS*
Ethical usually refers to the treatment of people. Are the workers paid a living wage? Are they given proper breaks? Is everyone of proper age? Does the company add positively to the communities in which it produces and help them to thrive?
Cruelty-free refers to animal welfare and whether any animals were hurt or harmed during the production of the garment. In fashion, it also means that the product contains no animal byproducts, but on beauty products it means the finished product wasn’t tested on animals.
Organic refers to natural fibers being grown and produced without the use of highly toxic materials such as chemical pesticides in the growing process. Cotton is probably the most common organic fiber you can buy, but it is also possible to find organic hemp, silk and jute, to name just a few.
Conscious fashion is often used synonymously by the fashion industry with “ethical”, “sustainable” or “eco” fashion. It’s a bit of a catchall phrase that ends up being popular with brands that greenwash (see below).
Fair trade is a partnership that refers to marginalized producers getting a fair wage for their product when it is sold in more affluent countries.
Sustainable refers to the effect that production of a garment has on the world around us. How is it taken from the earth and how will it return to the earth? How much waste is involved in the manufacturing process? If it never biodegrades, it’s not truly sustainable.
Greenwashing is when a brand makes claims about something being ethical or sustainable that, upon further inspection, turn out to be false or exaggerated.
*all terms taken from an article of TheGuardian – Conscious, ethical and cruelty-free
UNSUBSCRIBE AND UNFOLLOW BRANDS THAT ARE FAST FASHION
It may sound unnecessary, but you don’t want to risk your new path into taking a slight turn when you find out that your ‘until recently favorite brand’ has a new collection and is cheap as hell. Unsubscribe from their newsletter, unfollow on social media, you don’t need the temptation, especially in your early stages of transforming.
However, do start following those who support and advocate for sustainable and ethical fashion. It will be easier for you to learn and read about success stories of many people who started off just like you. They can inspire you and advice you into the right direction and always have some useful fashion tips and tricks.
CLOSET DECLUTTERING AND DETERMINING YOUR STYLE
It’s always a good time to dive into your closet and declutter. Every time you will find something that is either too small, worn too many times, or just doesn’t fit your style anymore. And you will find out that most of the pieces that just don’t go into your closet are in great shape.
BUT that doesn’t mean they still belong in the closet. Instead add another new, positive habit in your life – generosity. Give them a second chance, a second home, and put a smile on someone’s face who will be more excited and grateful to wear them.
Now it’s time to rediscover and reinvent your style. What do you feel most comfortable wearing? Prints, patterns, colors, materials? Start from defining that and then take a look at your wardrobe to see what is available to you and how you can style with the current pieces. Come back to the people that you started following, most of them can be bloggers who give style tips and inspiration about the relationship with your reflection in the mirror.
SHOPPING AND TAKING CARE OF CLOTHES
Now when it comes to shopping, you must be careful. You need thorough information about which brands are sustainable and ethical. You may find that some of these are a little bit pricey and not within your normal budget, but that is actually the purpose of it. To shop consciously and thoughtful. Not to buy new clothes aimlessly and actually the pieces get to be functional.
Another option that is totally cool is to shop second hand. Yes. It’s an affordable way of adding the necessary clothes in your wardrobe. You can find unique pieces and will be wasting less resources.
It’s not enough that you just shop sustainably, but also it’s very important to take care of your clothes. That way you won’t ruin the materials, keep their quality and long term usability. Every new season is a great opportunity to declutter and clean your wardrobe.
You are making a shift in the clothing so it’s a good time to organize again. Wash your seasonal clothes and store them for the next season. Be careful with washing and dry cleaning, do it as little as possible. Steam instead of iron. These simple shifts can make your clothes last longer and look fresher.
And finally, take it easy and one step at a time. Nobody changed their whole attitude and impact over the night. You just have to stay consistent and believe that your impact will contribute to something greater.
We at CPH Case are also considerate and make our cases from recycled plastic. Check out our sustainable phone cases.
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