You’ve probably heard of the terms “fast” and “slow fashion” before, but what exactly do they mean? Let’s take a look at what they are and why you should care.
In simple terms, fast fashion is used to describe clothing designs that shift rapidly from the catwalk to stores and outlets. They are easily accessible to the consumer and strive to meet the latest trends. Fast fashion focuses on speed and low costs in order to deliver frequent new collections drawn from runway looks or celebrity styles. But it is particularly bad for the environment, as pressure to reduce costs and the time it takes to get a product from design to the shop means that environmental shortcuts are likely to be taken.
Drawbacks of Fast Fashion include:
- It has a negative impact on the environment
- Pollution on resources such as water and air
- The use of toxic chemicals and an increase in textile waste
- The exploitation of labour, making it unethical
- It is misleading to the consumer, as it focuses mainly on imitation of the original product
Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone, somewhere is paying.Lucy Siegle
In contrast to fast fashion, slow fashion refers to a sustainable and conscious approach to fashion in terms of production and consumption. It involves buying better-quality clothing that will last longer and values fair treatment of people, animals and the planet. In addition, slow fashion does not just describe ethically produced garments but also applies to second-hand clothing that is exchanged, requiring no production to take place.
What makes Slow Fashion better?
- It focuses on producing clothes for quality and longevity
- It encourages better wages and a lower carbon footprint
- More consumer spending, more profits and better consumer satisfaction
- There is ideally no waste
Fashion can be a universal player in protecting the planet.Pharrell Williams
Fast fashion and slow fashion are two notions that are contrary. Fast fashion concentrates on producing and selling as many products as possible, in the shortest time possible and in order to maximize profits, typically with no regard to the environmental impact or human rights.
However, slow fashion tries to thwart these aspects by producing fashion ethically, resulting in less harm on the environment and fair treatment of workers.
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