While it seems pretty and affordable at first glance, fast fashion can be more destructive than you can imagine. There is a dark truth behind these cute crop tops in our favorite stores, and I’m here to unfold it. But first, let’s answer the basic question of what is considered fast fashion.
Fast fashion is simply producing a high volume of trendy clothing in a very short time. The ideas are most likely stolen from catwalks right into the mainstream, high street stores, such as Zara, H&M and also online, to well known Shein. And these are just a few examples. Fast fashion trends have a short life (duh, it’s called fast fashion for a reason), therefore we can buy them more often. And it’s all pretty damn dangerous.
Why is fast fashion bad for your wallet?
The answer to the question of why fast fashion is bad is extremely broad. Economically, ethically or environmentally wise is just a poor choice. Let’s focus on the economical aspect first.
I mean, sure. SheIn seems extremely cheap, but is it really? The quality of these pieces most often leaves much to be desired. As established previously, fast fashion uses cheap materials made of plastic, which are mostly polyester, acrylic and nylon. Big companies don’t care about us having clothes for years. On the contrary, they will make us buy more and more. That being said, you can expect your jeans to rip after a few months, so you can get a brand-new pair quickly. According to Green Peace’s “Time out for Fast Fashion”, we buy 60% more items of clothing, and we keep them for way less than just 15 years ago. And since they’re low quality, that also makes them often unsaleable. And what happens next? We simply throw it away. Our piece of cloth is not trendy anymore.
Why is fast fashion bad for the environment?
The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world, and it has a massive impact on our planet. Fashion production makes a significant amount of carbon emissions – according to Geneva Environment Network, almost 10%. Moreover, as we know, fast fashion clothing is mostly made out of polyester due to its low price. However, the real price of this material is much higher. Synthetic microfibres that are released from the clothes to oceans and rivers aren’t easily degradable. They can also have bacteria potentially dangerous to humans.
Why is fast fashion bad for your ethics?
So little time, so much work. Big fashion companies can’t afford to produce so many garments in such a short time, so they have to cut costs on their workers. Factories are usually unsafe and the laborers (often also children) are extremely underpaid. And you might think that it’s not new, we are all aware of that… Yes, we are. Yet, more than a thousand people died in 2013’s Dhaka garment factory collapse. We are aware of so many bad things happening just in front of our eyes, but just being aware doesn’t solve the problem.
How to stop buying fast fashion
Ever wondered what is the alternative to fast fashion? I get that. I get frustrated when I see people shaming others for not making sustainable choices, because they’re simply not affordable for everyone. Thankfully, I have an alternative for you that is not only cheaper but also way better than fast fashion.
The best alternatives to fast fashion
- Go for quality over quantity. Overall, it’s way better for your wallet to invest in a piece of good quality material that will last for years.
- Educate yourself on what materials are actually good quality and can last longer.
- Take care of your clothes, and repair them if possible. Don’t throw anything away brainlessly!
- Before you buy a piece of cloth, ask yourself “Would I wear it in the fanciest place in Paris?”. If you don’t truly love it, don’t buy it!
- Don’t throw away the clothes you don’t longer need – instead, try to sell them. You’ll quickly learn how difficult it is when it comes to fast fashion items!
- Support local designers and smaller businesses.
- Fall in love with second-hand shopping! Vinted, local stores, Facebook marketplace… You will be surprised how many bargains you can find.
Or just buy this Zara blazer and it’s also ok!
Yes, I know. I just spent the whole page trying to convenience you how bad is fast fashion. You know me, I’m always trying to do the right thing. However, in reality, not everyone can afford this sustainable lifestyle. It’s actually a privilege not everyone can afford. Even I sometimes choose a quick option of H&M when I’m in need of something specific. It’s easy to tell a mother of three to buy a t-shirt from a local business for $150 or to check out Vinted if she’s working 12 hours shirt. Don’t be harsh on yourself (on others) and just try to do your best. That’s how we make the world a better place.