It’s no secret that we love a good fast fashion outlet, mainly because they’re inexpensive and (almost) always up to date with the latest trends. Some of our favourite retailers include H&M, Forever 21, Cotton On, TheFix and Mr Price. Walk into any one of these stores and you’re guaranteed to find some of the latest trends at some of the most affordable prices!
And of course, who doesn’t love a good splurge, especially when you’re able to get more for less. However, we hate to break it to you, but our beloved fast fashion does indeed have a dark side.
Fast fashion can be defined as inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. But is it too good to be true?
The answer is, unfortunately, yes.
Fast fashion outlets have a huge impact on people and the planet. It is one of the main contributors to climate change and according to the United Nations Environment Programme, “By 2050, the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget.” The average amount of times a person will wear an item of fast fashion clothing is 5 times, however, increasing this number to 50 times can reduce carbon emissions by 400% per item, per year.
Also, keep in mind that fast fashion is not free – someone, somewhere, is paying for it. Factory workers are forced to work long hours in appalling conditions, with very little income earned. Basically, the less we pay for clothing, the less the workers are paid for making it. And society (being the demanding consumers that we are) doesn’t exactly help this matter much.
The fashion industry has a huge responsibility to produce fashion within sustainable limits, but it’s not only up to them. It’s up to all of us to be conscious of our carbon footprint. Celebrities such as Duchess Meghan Markle and Stella McCartney are leading the way with their clothing choices and making a conscious effort to redesign fashion’s future.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not completely against a good splurge at your favourite fast fashion outlet. All we’re saying is that everyone needs to be more aware of the impact we’re making. #ConsciousConsumerism.
Although we understand that it’s not always affordable to support sustainable fashion, we can always reduce our consumption by still purchasing fast fashion, but simply purchasing less of it – or wearing an item A LOT. When it comes down to it, the cheaper the clothing is, the bigger the impact. In the words of one of fashion’s greatest legends, Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” So save up, and save the planet.