Issues in the Fashion Industry: Part 1

Oh, the fun topic of fast fashion. This is a hard subject for me to start writing on because there are so many places I can take it, so it is hard to stay focused. So, if I go off on a tangent, bare with me.

Well, what is fast fashion? Once I define this, you’ll see it everywhere, especially because we live in Winnipeg (assumingly) and we’re known for being cheap. Fast fashion refers to clothing that is made and sold cheaply. Start to think about the sales you see when you walk into a mall 50% off everything, buy one get one half-off, or even just the fact that we can get jeans under $20. That’s fast fashion, my dear. Though Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Dynamite, and all those stores have great looking clothes, they are literally made to last less than 10 wears.

Fast fashion has also been called disposable fashion. Because the clothes are made so cheaply and are meant for so few wears, there is an idea behind it that women should be replacing their wardrobe every few weeks (gasps).

Some people actually like that idea, and that’s fine. But the issue there is: where are all those clothes going? Second-hand stores, charity, and landfills. The first two may sound alright, but the truth is, charities and second-hand stores are overflowing with clothes. They can barely handle the amount they have not, and we’re sitting here adding to it. So ultimately, it ends up in landfills.

Okay, let’s talk about where fast fashion came from, then you’re probably going to listen to a little rant from me about the good old days.

Fast fashion came from stores (like Forever 21, H&M, Zara, etc.) wanting to mimic the runway at lower prices. And they found a goldmine. Women went crazy for it, it was a great business plan. But terrible for both the environment and the economy.

A few other things to think about: where do these fabrics come from and what is used to dye them? Fast fashion clothes, especially compared to items from small makers, are made with a lot of harsh ingredients. The dyes used on them are often ridden with chemicals, sometimes so bad the workers get sick from them.

I’ll save my rant about the good old days and why you’re getting more for your money (omg, so much more) when you shop from small makers for another post, because we both need a break from how upsetting fast fashion is.

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