5 Things You Need to Know About Fast Fashion

5 Things You Need to Know About Fast Fashion

In recent years, "fast fashion" has become a household term. But what is fast fashion, exactly? Simply put, it's a design, production, and marketing approach that delivers trendy, affordable clothing to consumers on a rapid-fire basis. 

Because fast fashion garments are so affordable and easy to come by, many of us find ourselves buying them in bulk and wearing them for just a few weeks or even days before they go out of style. But there's more to fast fashion than meets the eye.

Here are five things you need to know about this

1. Fast fashion is incredibly harmful to the environment. The textile industry is one of the leading polluters in the world—and fast fashion is a major contributor to that pollution. The vast majority of fast fashion garments are made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, which are derived from crude oil. These materials release harmful microplastics into the environment when they're washed, and they often end up in our oceans, where they choke marine life and pollute our
water sources. What's more, the factories that mass produce fast fashion garments often use toxic chemicals in their dyeing and finishing processes, further polluting our air and water supplies.

2. Fast fashion starving creative designers In order for fast fashion brands to churn out new styles on such a regular basis, they have to work closely with manufacturers who can mass-produce garments quickly and cheaply. As a result, many up-and-coming designers are never given a chance to break into the industry because their unique designs don't fit into the mold of what can be mass-produced quickly and
cheaply. So not only does fast fashion harm the environment; it also stifles creativity within the fashion industry as a whole.

3. Fast fashion takes advantage of low-wage workers. Many of the people who make our clothes are paid abysmally low wages—so low that they can barely afford to feed and clothe themselves and their families.
In some cases, they’re even treated like slaves, forced to work long hours in dangerous conditions for little to no pay. Unfortunately, because fast fashion brands operate on such slim margins, they often have no choice but to cut costs by paying their employees as little as possible.

4. Fast fashion creates mountains of textile waste. Did you know that Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing per person every year? A lot of that textile waste comes from fast fashion garments that we
wear once or twice and then discard because they've gone out of style or fallen apart after just a few washes. What's more, because fast food garments are so cheaply made, it often doesn't make financial sense to try to repair them when they do break; it's cheaper just to buy a new one instead. As a result, our landfills are becoming increasingly filled with thrown-away clothing—much of which will take centuries to decompose.

5. There is an alternative to disposable fashion The good news is that there is an alternative to disposable fashion: slow fashion. Slow fashion is the antithesis of fast fashion. Whereas fast fashion focuses on quantity over quality , slow fashion focuses on quality over quantity. Slow fashion brands take the time to produce high-quality garments that will stand the test of time both in terms of style and durability. Not only do slow fashion brands have a smaller environmental footprint; they also typically pay their employees fair wages, ensuring that everyone involved in the production process is treated fairly.

The next time you’re tempted to buy yet another cheap t-shirt from Forever 21 or H&M, consider whether that garment is really worth sacrificing your hard-earned money —and the environment. Chances are, it's not.

Instead, opt for higher-quality slow fashion pieces that will last you for years (or even decades) to come. Not only will you save money in the long run; you'll also be doing your part to help create a more sustainable
future for both people and planet Earth.

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