"Fast fashion is a design, manufacturing, and marketing method focused on rapidly producing high volumes of clothing."
Fast fashion often includes the use of synthetic fabrics that are cheap to use. The emphasis with fast fashion is definitely quantity over quality. It is very easy and convenient to consume fast fashion brands such as Pretty Little Thing (PLT).
Offers such as free next day delivery for a year are available on many websites such as Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo. For example, Pretty Little Thing's next day delivery for a year is £9.99.
This entices shoppers to shop more frequently to make the most out of their yearly deal. It is likely that if someone has free next day delivery they will be more inclined to purchase from there instead of other brands due to convenience and accessibility.
We often think of retail therapy as a positive thing. Shopping to make us feel better about our feelings and emotions. It is even classed as a social activity with conversations with friends happening such as "Shall we go for some retail therapy at the weekend?"
However, the dangers of "retail therapy" are often unclear. Yes, it can be positive and a way of socialising with friends and purchasing some treats for yourself or gifts for other people. However, too much retail therapy can lead too credit card debt, depression and hoarding. Often, shopping can be seen as a fun game or competition in the sense that we are on the look out for the biggest discounts. Most online clothing and cosmetic websites have a section that allows you to look at products that have the biggest discounts. It can almost be seen as a competition with yourself to be able to find the website that sells a certain product for the cheapest price.
People that search for the biggest discounts can be defined as "sport shoppers" and more information about this term can be found here. There is often little consideration into why the product is so cheap and there is often no thought for things such as poor working conditions for it's staff and poor quality clothes in general.
These factors are often not considered because the priority for many shoppers is trying to find the biggest bargains without thinking of the potential consequences.
During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in online shopping. This will have inevitably contributed to "retail therapy" as people shopped to cure their boredom of being at home. I admit that I would look through online clothing websites new in sections like a daily newspaper during lockdown! However, during the COVID-19 pandemic there was also an increase in second-hand shopping.
Due to the effects of the pandemic, there was also an increase in re-using fabrics that would have usually gone to waste. Lockdowns during the pandemic could have also contributed to a rise in handmade and DIY fashion.
Handmade and DIY fashion was "up by 30% on Depop between May and July."
The COVID-19 pandemic also taught us that we should help local businesses such as handmade clothing shops recover from the effects of the pandemic. However, it is important to note that we should have been supporting smaller local businesses all along and not just because of the pandemic. Hopefully, this increased pattern of supporting local businesses continues to grow in the future.
Minimalism is a term that can be described as moving in a different direction to the "sport shoppers" and the bargain hunters. Minimalists believe that there should be more thought put into whether someone actually wants to buy something or whether they are doing it to keep up to the latest fashion trends.
"Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life's excess in favour of focusing on what's important- so you can find happiness, fulfilment and freedom."
To summarise, effort should be made by people to become more conscious shoppers. Instead of overloading your wardrobe and becoming overwhelmed with the amount of clothes, the quantity of clothes should be limited to quality pieces that may hold meaning or value to you. Fashion should be about wearing clothes that you want to wear and expressing yourself in ways that you want too. It should not be about trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends that change at a pace that your wardrobe cannot keep up too.