Fast Fashion

So, I’m not going to lie, it has been a hot minute since I wrote my last blog post.

If I’m making excuses… being sick, midterms, spring break, and best friends coming to visit all in one month can be a little distracting.

If I’m adding to the list of excuses, I also found myself at a loss of what to write about. I feel like every post needs to have a underlying yet creative meaning behind it, and I just could not think of one that was worthwhile. I guess in other words, I was not feeling inspired.

However, in class today, I realized that I might not have to write a blog post about some mystical life lesson/realization (especially since I don’t have one right now). Why not write about something that I have learned in one of my classes? Especially if I could bring light to this important subject.

So, here it is, fast fashion.

Since I am studying retail, specifically fashion retail while I am abroad, I have been learning a lot about the ethical considerations behind clothing production, materials, distribution and fast fashion.

Summed up, fast fashion is cheaply made, trendy, mass produced clothing. For example, H&M, Zara, Forever 21. These brands are great for anyone that wants to be a part of the latest trend, but has a low budget. Basically, these places are great for high school and college students- low income, and trendy fashion followers.

However, there are downsides to having an inexpensive wardrobe.

  • First of all, it is going to be made of way cheaper material, as well as being pretty poorly made.
    • In order to have a lower retail cost, there will be compromises. These companies are not concerned with using sustainable materials because good products have a higher cost of production.
    • Then those environmentally harmful materials are going to be cut an sewn and mass produced as quickly as possible, there will not be much time or thought into their assembly.
      • This most likely means that they will fall apart quickly, or only have 2 or 3 washes to them until they start to look worn out
    • There will be inconsistency in the products
      • Pieces that are meant to be identical, most likely will not be due to the fact that pushing out the clothing so quickly.
    • There will also be a lower standard for labor. Many of these companies are going to be cutting corners on production costs by lowering the employee salaries or having poor working conditions.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved these stores. I am able to buy clothes without feeling guilty about spending butt loads of money. And, at first, it might not have been a problem that a small handful of companies were not having the most ethical means of production. However, we are now starting to see fast fashion trickle up into luxury brands.

Generally, it takes companies like Gucci, Fendi, Chanel, etc. around 6 months for their lines to be sold in store after being in a fashion show.

However, we learned that Burberry was the first high end brand that brought on the idea of fast fashion. They had their pieces immediately available after the show. And now, similar brands are following suit.

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I find it extremely disappointing that these companies are losing their exclusivity in order to appeal to an environment where production quality is no longer as important. In my opinion, it is due to the fact that everyone (but especially Millennials and younger generations) are obsessed with being able to show off what they have. Everyone wants to be able to have the next best post with the highest amount of likes, and one way to do that is to have a wardrobe that is full of brand names, and/or constantly changing.

The main reason that I am writing this is because I want you guys to know how fake fast fashion is. You are tricked into thinking that you are saving money. However, in reality, you will most likely be spending more money buying a pair of jeans from Forever 21 than if you were to buy a pair of jeans from Madewell. The F21 clothing will be cheaper fabric and production that will ultimately result in only getting a few wears out of them. Also, most of the time fast fashion brands will be overcharging you for the quality of their products!

I have a personal goal to start saving my money and purchasing clothing from companies like Reformation, Patagonia, Outdoor Voices, Back Beat Rags, Amour Vert, Madewell, Armedangels, and Movinun (and so many more listed in one of the websites I have linked below) in order to ensure that my wardrobe will be worth my money, last longer than 3 washes, and will not have a gross impact on the environment.

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~AS A HUGE SIDE NOTE~

I also want you guys to know how fake street styles are. So many people (especially bloggers and Instagram models) that are posting are sponsored by these companies. Street style is supposed to be made up of outfits caught on the go by the creators that you love, of clothing pieces they have chosen. Just know how much our world is being affected by social media… in so many more ways than one. (I have included videos below.)

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I guess if I had to find an overarching meaning behind this post, it would be that you should pay attention to the world around you. Remember that you are the future and make sure that you are staying informed so that you can make decisions that will resonate with your morals and values. Stay true to who you are, your style, and recognize when you need to make changes in your life.

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Video about street style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK2ylq-EOGg

Video on fast fashion trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaGp5_Sfbss

Website that rates brands on their environmental awareness: https://goodonyou.eco/