Moving away from "Fast Fashion"
While I have been anxiously waiting to launch I got to thinking…how do most people view the fashion industry? Do people feel some designers and brands have crazy markups that they exploit? Are we too used to fast fashion? How do people view fast fashion?
What is fast fashion exactly…?
Fast fashion is a term used by fashion retailers to express that designs move quickly from the catwalk to capture current fashion trends. It also refers to the speed at which clothes are consumed and disposed. Large scale stores that sell you a trendy quick-fix for your “I have nothing to wear” problem… The financial cost to the buyer may be low… but what about the other ethical costs… and what do we do with these low quality garments when they inevitably go out of style?
Some things to consider about fast fashion…
1) Fast fashion exploits overseas workers. Think back to the 90’s… remember when a few (not being named here) companies got in trouble for sweatshop labor? Things haven't necessarily gotten much better… many large “fast fashion” companies subcontract manufacturing overseas to the lowest bidder — usually in countries that already have some of the leanest production costs on earth. This leads to unethical labor and no long-term relationships with the factories. Companies need their products fast and the factories have to keep up or lose their contracts.
2) Fast fashion is environmentally disastrous. Consumers are constantly renewing their wardrobes in accordance with the latest trends. The Huffington Post reports that the average American throws out 68 pounds of textiles per year — this isn't counting donating or consigning… literally thrown in the garbage. To think of everything that went into making those clothes… The production of a single cotton shirt can require up to 2700 liters of water… just as an example. On top of all this, most fast fashion garments are made with petroleum-based fibers that don’t easily decompose. The planet is simply unable to sustain this sort of waste.
3) Finally, fast fashion changes the way we think about our clothes… What happened to sewing buttons back on your silk blouse? Or repairing your favorite leather loafers… people are quick to throw away clothing these days. I’m of the mindset I’d rather have five really nice things, than twenty-five not-so-nice things. Maybe we can begin to shift... what if we wear something that took a lot of thought? Maybe think… was it made with love?
I continue to see companies taking a new direction in the fashion industry - moving away from fast fashion and back to high quality goods… happy to see it. And proud that T.B.E. is a part of this growing movement.