'It’s safe to say that the term fast fashion is dominating the high street and online fashion space. High street retailers are trying their hardest to counteract being labeled as fast fashion outlets, but ultimately the industry requires a substantial overhaul for this to happen.
'You’ll be pleased to know that one of the best ways to avoid fast fashion is….by charity shopping!
'Fast fashion is defined as - “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends”.
'You only have to walk down the high street to see the abundance of fast fashion retailers. We are talking of brands such as Primark, H&M, Zara, and online retailers such as ASOS, Boohoo, and PrettyLittleThing to name a few. Fast fashion is all around us, and it’s difficult to not get sucked in. With these company’s powerful marketing tactics, they brainwash us into believing we need to buy these cheap, mass-produced items to be trendy and “in-style”. But at what cost?
'The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to global landfills. It also accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions and uses more energy than both aviation and shipping combined. These shocking statistics alone highlight the irreparable damage to our environment.
'Even though a few major brands such as Zara and H&M are taking steps in the right direction in the fight against fast fashion… is this enough? For example, Zara announced that every collection will be made from 100% sustainable materials by 2025, and H&M has introduced the world's first in-store recycling system - Looop. Whilst these steps are great and show companies willingness to consider sustainability in their business models, there is a risk of ‘greenwashing’. That’s why there still needs to be an emphasis on a more sustainable and circular approach, that favours clothes that are already in circulation. It is also important that all aspects of the company are sustainable (not just sustainably resourced materials, we are also talking about issues such as fair wages and working conditions). This is where slow fashion comes in.
'Slow fashion is the sustainable, and slower alternative to fast fashion. It is a movement that focuses on improving sustainability by encouraging retailers and consumers alike to take a more ethical approach to fashion. It supports buying secondhand and vintage clothing, upcycling old clothes, supporting smaller producers, and buying better-quality clothing that will have a longer lifespan. The movement ensures fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet.
'A great way to get started in the slow fashion movement is to spend some time researching your favourite brands and their impact on the planet.
'Have they launched a vegan range? A range made from recycled plastic bottles? Do they have a B Corp Certification? Looking for certifications and badges helps to understand if the company adheres to certain ethical standards. For further information about certifications and information surrounding the slow fashion movement read SLO Active’s sustainable and slow fashion guide.
'It’s important to note that slow fashion is not about not buying, it is about thinking more sustainably and having a “Conscious Closet”. We all love to treat ourselves to new clothes, and slow fashion acknowledges this! Elizabeth L. Cline’s book The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good encapsulates the slow fashion movement and advises how you can reach your fashion goals ethically and sustainably. It has been dubbed as the “sustainable fashion bible”. Overall, it is crucial to be a conscious consumer and acknowledge that the money you spend has an impact on the lifespan and actions of businesses. Ultimately conscious consumers ensure they make decisions that have a positive social, economic, environmental, and political impact.
'Whilst sustainably sourced brands such as Asket, Ninety Percent, Thought, and SLO Active can be expensive, you know what isn’t expensive? Charity shopping!
' Join the Slow Fashion Movement with us!
It is clear that the fashion industry cannot carry on as ‘business as usual,’ and that’s why we are encouraging you to think sustainably and join us in combatting the harmful effects of fast fashion. This year has been an eye-opening year for so many reasons and has definitely seen an increase in documentaries and knowledge about sustainable practices. It cannot be denied that secondhand shopping is one of the best ways to lighten your impact as a consumer.
'So, shop consciously with us at dorothyhouse.shop by growing your wardrobe sustainably and saying NO to fast fashion☺
If you are interested in learning more about the dangers of fast fashion some great documentaries are:
- BBC: The Price of Fast Fashion
- The True Cost
- Fashion’s Dirty Secret
- River Blue