13 Sep The ugly truth of Fast Fashion
Let’s start by stating the obvious.
- Fast fashion is cheap for a reason.
Now here are some facts that may not be so obvious.
- This specific side to the fashion industry is designed to make you, the consumer, feel out of trend merely a week after purchase. Forget the two main season forecasters in September and February, the high street brands are here to create trends every week so that you come back and buy more.
- The clothes are meant to have a wear-by date. In order to make more profits, the quality is not meant to be great in order that you return and buy something similar. It is all about quantity and not quality.
- Sweatshop labourers, who create clothes for retailers such as Zara and Forever 21 in Bangladesh earn £55/ $73 per month. Over the past decade and a half, 250 000 workers in India have committed suicide because they have not been able to accumulate enough money to live off.
Probably the most frustrating side to fast fashion is the lack of originality. It is hard to know that designers such as Alessandro Michele, Mary Kate & Ashley and Erdem go through days of sketching and then months of perfecting the final piece to fit their vision, to see fast fashion retailers snatch their ideas 2.5 seconds after walking the runway and display their latest cheap and tacky version two weeks later. Many may argue against me, but then to what extent is it inspiration or just imitation?
This issue is not recent. The Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh collapsed in 2013 killing 1134 and injuring 2500 innocent workers. The dangerous working conditions and long hours were highlighted at this saddening incident, showing the public the cost of their cheap clothing. Why support a sector of the fashion industry in which you would not even want to see your friend work in? Now if we return to the poor quality of clothing that many of us buy, we know it will not last a lifetime. The Council for Textile Recycling announced that in 2009 we threw away 25.46 billion pounds of clothing that ended up straight into landfills, and are estimated to have that statistic rise to a whopping 35.4 billion pounds by 2019.
So my question to you is how much are you willingly to spend on fast fashion at the expense of others?
This article has no desire or aim to put to shame the high street shoppers but to focus on the “grey areas” of fast fashion.
Featured images courtesy of Zara and Miu Miu