As the seasons change, new styles and trends are constantly coming to life, and somehow brands are always up to date with this never-ending shift in fashion culture. Whether it’s the 90’s coming back, or a completely new craze, there will always be a store to tend to your desires. How do companies actually manage to stay on top of this cycle of trends going out of fashion and new ones coming in? There is one pretty obvious answer that not many people know about. Fast Fashion.
What is fast fashion?
Fast fashion is the term used to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to take advantage of trends. The collections are often based on styles presented at Fashion Week runway shows or worn by celebrities. There is such a desire to have to newest and trendiest clothes, that companies end up mass-producing clothing items. Due to this vast amount of production, a lot of products end up not being sold, and instead of going to a charity shop or donating them, they end up being dumped in landfills or burned.
Fast fashion also has an effect on the environment water usage which is a byproduct from textile factories in countries that produce clothing items is untreated toxic wastewater. What's wrong with it This textile waste contains substances like lead, mercury and arsenic that are extremely harmful to aquatic and human life. https://pebblemag.com/magazine/living/whats-wrong-with-fast-fashion
How to recognise fast fashion
Fast fashion is also recognised by the conditions in which its employees are working under. They usually have no ventilation, and often breath in toxic substances, fiber dust or blasted sand as the workers are in unsafe buildings. Accidents, fires, and injuries happen too often on clothing production sites, and the spread of disease is heightened due to the unsanitary environment. As if this wasn’t enough, workers experience verbal and physical abuse. https://www.sustainyourstyle.org/en/whats-wrong-with-the-fashion-industry.
In the media recently, there has been uproar regarding the well-known online fashion brand Pretty Little Thing (PLT), and their most recent creative designer, Molly Mae Hague. Molly Mae Hague signed an amazing seven-figure deal after her appearance on love island, but after a video circled of her emphasising that ‘we all the have same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce‘. After this statement came out, her fans and the public were in an uproar when the general wage of the Pretty Little Thing workers was revealed. Compared to her seven-figure deal, PLT has been exposed for paying their hard garment workers an hourly rate of £3.50 in a factory in Leicester which is a lot lower than the minimum wage of £8.72 an hour for those over 25.
Brands to avoid
There are many brands that are known to be ignorantly and actively buying into fast fashion. These brands include common high street names such as New Look, Gap, and Primark as well as the booming Zara, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and SHEIN. Some more brands to avoid are:
Almost every store on our high street is involved in the toxicity of fast fashion which will make it harder to not buy into these brands. All the brands we love to shop from, but are they worth it?
Despite all of this, a lot of these brands named above have begun to take a step in the right direction in order to become more sustainable. Zara, for example, has started labeling items of clothing with ‘join life’ which means that their specific items are made using raw materials to reduce environmental impact.
How to be more ethical
There are, however, ways to not buy into fast fashion brands, and that is to buy into slow fashion. One common way is to buy into sustainable brands and ditch the cheaply made, shirt term use garments. Although sustainable fashion may be more expensive, it will do wonders for our world in the long run. A lot of small self-run businesses also offer ethical clothing. Another very simple yet very easy way to help out is to not find yourself in a situation where you have too many clothes, but still somehow have nothing to wear. Maybe this is because your Instagram has already this dress and that top already, and you don’t want to be seen in it again? suffocation situation.
Here is a list of ethical brands:
The brand Levis has been identified as ’good’ according to the environmental rating. This is because 'Sustainable' fashion refers to garments that have been made in a way that is mindful of the many environmental issues the fashion industry touches upon. The likes of Levi’s jeans are known to stay in circulation for many years, and you can even bag yourself a vintage paid in most vintage clothing shops! Although some of these ethical brands aren’t popular high-end names, they still produce amazing fashionable clothes, and they are so much better for the environment and their workers.