Fast Fashion Explained!
Updated: Nov 28, 2019
What is fast fashion?
Fast Fashion is the term to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends. As consumer demands to always own the trendiest outfits, with a cheaper price tag. Major fashion companies tries to match our demand but with costly compromises.
Garment workers are working overtime with very low wages, sometimes unpaid, in very bad and dangerous conditions, with no proper safety protocols when handling hazardous chemicals. They suffer mistreatment and abuse from the sweatshop. Most garment workers are usually women or underage children. These are happening in sweatshops at developing countries including Indonesia!
That is only the ethical part of it. Fast fashion also comes with great harm to the environment. As companies try to cut back on cost, fabrics such as polyester are used to make our outfits. Polyester is derived from fossil fuel which directly contribute to global warming and everytime you would wash a
shirt made out of polyester, millions of microplastics is release into our waterways and made it’s way to our ocean where this little particles are being ingested by marine animals and make their way up our food chain. The dyes used for the fabrics also pollutes rivers raising heath concerns for communities and animals that rely on this resource.
What happen when our demand increases?
The vicious trend cycle produces a new trend every few weeks instead of every season creating a throw-away culture. If you ask our grandparents, back at our age, they would value a clothing item that they purchase because they know they will get years worth for that outfit. They are made with high quality fabrics and will stand the test of time. But now, shopping for new clothes is no longer an activity we cherish. It is just engrained in our lifestyle. What happens if you purchase one outfit every week for a year? That is 52 outfits. Multiply that with just the population in Indonesia thats 1.5 billion outfits per year from just Indonesia alone. I know that is a very rough estimate but just imagine where does 1.5 billion outfits go after we don’t want it anymore? The landfill. Since our clothes are mostly made out of synthetic materials, they won’t biodegrade. It will take them 200 years to fully decompose. Filling our landfill, finding it’s way into the ocean harming marine life.
What should I do?
Quit fast fashion. Yes that is harsh but this is the only way this cycle would stop. It is difficult because we feel like we always need something new in our closet. But in reality most of the clothing in our closet will be worn a couple times before it fell out of trend or the quality is beginning to deteriorate. It doesn’t need to be an overnight process. Now after reading this you have understand the impact of fast fashion and we hope you think twice before walking into a store and mindlessly purchase a new shirt. Appreciate and value the clothing that is inside your closet and declutter the outfits that doesn’t spark you joy. But do so responsibly. Donate, resell or upcycle those clothing to unsure that they don’t end up in landfill.
Where does that leave us? Let's start together