So, let’s talk about fast fashion
Fast fashion. This seems to be something that I’ve heard about for a long time. I know that fashion is very fast – it moves on from trends quickly, and each season brings something new to the table.
This is why I have decided to talk about fast fashion and the issues I have with it.
I love to shop. I am not going to say that I don’t shop in places that supply fast fashion. I’ll be the first person to put my hand up and say that ‘I shop at trendy shops’. Topshop, Next, New Look, Primark. However, I don’t shop at these places all the time! I love a good trawl through op-shops (Kiwi speak for charity stores), as you can find a lot of treasures in them and it is a great way to recycle clothes.
H&M is my guilty pleasure. They have so much variety and don’t just stock the latest trends. I can always be guaranteed to find something that I love and something that suits my style. Something I love about H&M is that you can take your old clothes to them and they recycle them. However, how much of these clothes that they receive are actually being given to charities or recycled into new materials/textiles?
As a fashion blogger, there does seem to be the pressure to be buying new clothes.
There are some items I own that I have had for years and years and are no longer available in store. See, I try to buy things that I know I will wear for a long time. I don’t like spending money on things that will fall apart really quickly. However, there is that pressure to buy new things on a regular basis so that you can tag them in your instagram or twitter posts. Or that you can show readers where to buy them.
I love fashion, and I love styling modern pieces to work with vintage pieces in my wardrobe. However, when people ask me where I got a dress or a skirt, I have to say it’s a rare item – as some things in my wardrobe date back to the 1940s. Sorry guys, that’s what happens when a vintage lover tries to blog about fashion.
I would love the opportunity to work with sustainable brands, but I think I’ll stick to op-shopping for now. Sustainable brands, I guess, could be called ‘slow fashion’ (that’s what I saw it called here). I think being able to design and create items that are timeless is really important. I understand that every season new looks pop up, due to fashion weeks, however, the looks that I like are the timeless ones that will last a long time and not be ‘uncool’ in a years time. But in saying that, I do love some of the trends that are out and about. It is a tricky balance, trying to shop timeless but also liking those trends!
There’s so much waste due to fast fashion, and it’s polluting our world more and more.
“Supporting slow fashion is about more than positively impacting the environment. It’s about making a choice to support the people behind the clothes, to choose quality over quantity, to choose longevity over trends. As a personal stylist, I regularly witness our society’s obsession with consumption and the constant need for more. This ultimately just leads to more waste. Rather than supporting this narrative and the pressure to keep up with the never ending and ever changing trends, I decided to slow down and change my habits. Slow fashion is about more than clothes. It’s about the story behind your clothes.” – Dana Frost (@DanaFrost)
Maybe I need to break out of the mould, embrace my vintage love and post my vintage inspired photos on instagram.
I think something that hasn’t helped this fast fashion life is that clothes are so cheap now. When I go to shops and see that something is $50, it kind of puts me off. I would much rather spend $20 on something, which is probably not the best mindset to have. When things are so cheap, it makes it easier to go out and do a shopping haul, and this is why and how fast fashion brands thrive. However, if it came to a $50 dress that was vintage I would snatch it up without a doubt. I mean, there’s something amazing having an item that no-one else has!
It’s so easy to go online now as well and buy something. Online shopping feels like instant gratification, and it also feels like you haven’t spent anything, as you haven’t physically gone into a shop and bought something.
A really good post to look at is ‘get to know your wardrobe habits’ from Tortoise and Lady Grey, a sustainable fashion blog.
Let’s go back to what makes something fast fashion:
Fast fashion is when retailers create items that are cheap and move quickly. They get a lot of money from people relying on the latest trends to buy these products. This is why these shops are successful. They shorten the amount of time it takes to make and design items, and this is why they appear so quickly in shops. There is a very fast turn over.
Even things like what the materials are made out of can have a huge impact on the environment. Polyester, and surprisingly cotton, can create negative impacts on the environment. Polyester due to the plastic that is within the material (think of all those poor fishies in the ocean) and cotton requires a lot of pesticides.
The garment workers, those who make the items, are making these in terrible situations and environments. Sweatshops, low wages, the lack of human rights for these people.
So, now that I know all this, I should really try harder to be sustainable. I know the environmental impact these fast fashion retailers have on our planet, and I know how terrible the working situations are for the people making these items.
I also found this great app called Good On You – Ethical Fashion, that tells you just how ethical your favourite fashion brands are!
And, now, in the words of Vivienne Westwood:
“buy less, choose well, make it last.”