Fast Fashion A lifestyle or A menace

Have you heard of this phrase recently and wondered what it is? Fast fashion is one of the most buzzing words in the fashion industry, especially for the past two years. If you are a strong advocate for a sustainable lifestyle or is a sustainable enthusiast, you already know about “Fast fashion”. There was a time when shopping was considered an occasional event due to various reasons.
-Poor Socio-Economic background
-Less knowledge about fashion
-Lack of media influence

We used to shop only for seasons, like some dresses for summers or some turtle neck t-shirts and sweaters for winters. Or when we outgrow our limited closet edition. Hardly anyone used to be bothered about the colors or the kind of clothes one is wearing. If you look through the cloth revolution history pages, you will notice that only the uber-rich families used to spend their dollars on clothes and make-ups. But in the last two decades, this whole lifestyle changed rapidly. With the increase of media influence, we witness a fast-flux of this revolution. Suddenly, clothes have become cheaper, and trends change over biweekly, and shopping is now a hobby!

There comes our not so favorite term, “Fast Fashion”, to merge this sudden market gap! Fast Fashion has created waves and made quite a big territory in the textile and retail industry in high-streets and online shopping. Due to fast fashion, people now do not hesitate to buy clothes since they are cheaper to keep up with the change of trends, wear them a few times and then throw it away. Well, as much as these cool, amazing designed clothes you will see in online stores and some street markets, and wear them to look uber cool and pose for the social media platforms, we need to take a pause. In this article, we will discuss all the essential segments of Fast Fashion!


Fast Fashion: A colloquial term!

We can say that Fast Fashion is cheap, trendy clothing styles that try to replicate ideas from ramp walks or keep up with the celebrity culture. We say the term “Fast” since these garments are made at breakneck speed and price to meet the sudden waves of consumer demands. They are sold not in stores but high-streets. You will be shocked when you hear the price range of these trendy clothes!
The question is, how is it benefiting the manufacturers or the industry as a whole?

Well, honestly, in moral and ethical terms, this particular trend is not helping much. The idea that boosted the whole Fast Fashion culture was to get the newest styles and trends in the market streets as fast as possible while still popular, and customers can grab them up with few pennies of change. 

But sadly, they also discard these clothes after a few wears. But why?

Thanks to the sudden media culture and social platforms norms, repeating clothes or a certain outfit is considered Faux pas. And if you want to be tagged as some trending fashionista or a social media icon, many believe that they always have to sport the latest looks without repeating the clothes much. And fast fashion feeds this mental image without any break.
Fast fashion also feeds and is a crucial part of this toxic system of overproduction, consumption and the need to constantly change garments every day that “fashion” is now a major contributor to environmental pollution, ranking after industrial pollutants!

Where did Fast Fashion start?

If we plan to do anything about fast fashion, we need to rewind a bit and learn how it started. As we said, there was a time when fashion was slow. We are talking about before the 1800s. One of the biggest reasons was the people had to source the primary components like wool, cotton, silk, and leather. And all these primary textiles were majorly made by humans without any industrial interference. So, people had to source them, but weave, design and make clothes all by themselves. People who had a poor socio-economic background would often make these clothes at home. And only some, but never in mass production.

But everything started taking turns after the Industrial Revolution! People got introduced to machines like textile printing and sewing machines. Clothes started becoming relatively cheaper and started affecting the fashion industry at large. Many industrial markets saw a sudden flux of garment shopping as a significant event in Middle-Classes too. But the major breaking point in the fashion industry was the major waves of the Feminism movement, especially the Third Wave of Feminism. Women started to rebel, and fashion became a language to express. Designers like Coco Chanel chopped off the long lengths of clothes and reduced them to knee lengths while decreasing the volumes. And Levi’s introduced jeans for women.

Fashion became a language of self-expression, freedom and liberation. And at that point, the media culture was slowly reaching the mass. Both got mixed and started influencing the mass culture. But yet, there was a distinct difference between street style and high-fashion style. But everything blurred out with the introduction of online platforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s. With the sudden rise in social media’s economy and reach, street styles started to dominate the whole fashion industry.

Fast Fashion: Affecting the future?

When one has to meet such a mass production within a short period, environmental concerns or clothes quality are not considered. But fast fashion has a major footprint in the environmental pollution in both production and disposal terms.

  1. Most of the clothes are made of polyester since it is cheap and easy to make. But the textile isn’t biodegradable or good for the skin. When you dispose of it, the cloth adds to the pollution, which can’t be recycled anymore.
  2. Fast Fashion contributes to a tenth of the world’s carbon emissions.
  3. Also, Fast Fashion needs many cheap toxic dyes and other chemicals, which affects many freshwater bodies.

Why is Fast Fashion dangerous?

Fast Fashion is dangerous to both environment and human health. Who could have thought about how wearing trending clothes could cause hazardous life-threatening diseases and living conditions?
Sustainable fashion is the only way to curb this menace. Now, what is sustainable fashion? Well, we will explore all about it in our next blog. (Paste the link of the appropriate blog.)