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Slow fashion VS Fast fashion

Slow fashion VS Fast fashion

When buying clothes it can be easy to be attracted by the low price tags. More often than not, a low price tag comes with a hefty price to be paid elsewhere. The world of fast fashion is damaging to the environment, but as a customer it's easy to buy into, as from the outside it can look extremely appealing. This is where slow fashion comes in. Slow fashion is slowly increasing in demand, as people become more aware, however fast fashion is still dominating the industry, and this needs to change.

We are here to explain and outline the facts and figures of what fast fashion actually is behind the scenes. Once you read this, you will probably think twice, before purchasing with fast fashion brands. As people make more conscious choices when purchasing, it will improve the effects the industry has on the world.

There are several things that label a company as a fast fashion brand. A few of these are:

  • Following trends
  • Mass production
  • Unfair labor practices
  • Unsustainable materials
  • Company ethics
  • New products all the time

So let's go through the points and see why these are negative things.

Fashion trends can seem appealing when you see everyone wearing them. More often than not, a more expensive brand will start the trend and then cheaper fast fashion brands will copy and produce this. The fast fashion brand will produce trending outfits in such a mass quantity, which they can afford to do as it costs so little to produce. 

There are a few issues with this. First of all, promoting fashion trends and encouraging people to buy into them. Fashion trends change constantly, and by encouraging people to buy into these, the brands are not being conscious of the end result. They create products, sometimes daily, to align with trends. When the trend is over these clothes are then going to waste, and the consumer is then buying into new trends. This promotes short term life cycles for clothes, due to the materials used these clothes will sit in landfill for many years.

Slow fashion brands promote buying timeless or transeasonal pieces, to ensure your clothes last for as long as they can. Timeless pieces are items of clothing, that regardless of the year or current trends, you still look classy and well dressed. Transeasonal pieces are items you can wear across all seasons. These could be items like skirts that could be worn with tights in winter and on its own in summer. This allows a long life span for your clothes, reduces waste and saves you money in the long run.

Another issue is that they mass produce, because it costs so little for them to make it. This in return creates a mass impact on the environment. Whether that's the pollution from creating the garments, to the items being sat in landfill because they've been discarded. It creates a bad impact on the environment unnecessarily. Slow fashion brands produce in low quantities at a time, so the pollution created is small amounts, and only when needed. Slow fashion brands also use sustainable and biodegradable materials, so if and when it gets to landfill, it is not sat there for many years.

This leads to one of the biggest issues with fast fashion brands, and that is the material used. Fast fashion brands like to produce as much as they can, which means they need to keep their costs down. One of their ways of doing this is using cheap materials. Cheap materials come with a bad environmental impact. The most common ones used are polyester and viscose.

Polyester requires high water and energy consumption when being made, creating harmful pollution. Not only that it is petroleum based so it is not biodegradable. Creating viscose is an extremely energy-intensive process. In addition, enormous chemical conversion processes are needed to obtain the cellulose. In liquid form or as toxic fumes, the chemicals cause considerable pollution in the manufacturing regions. The consequences are not only harmful to the environment, but also endanger the health of people in and around the factories.

These look appealing to a consumer from the outside as they come with a low price tag, however investing into these items is a bad decision to make for many reasons. First of all, the production itself has caused serious harm to the environment. Secondly these types of materials are not durable and will not wash well or last you a long time. Thirdly, most of the cheaper materials are not biodegradable and will be in landfill for potentially hundreds of years.

Slow fashion brands use sustainable, natural and recycled materials. These are materials that cause minimal impact on the environment when being produced, high quality so will last you a long time and they are biodegradable. These garments may come at a higher price tag, but this is because conscious efforts have been made to cause minimal impact. These are materials such as 100% linen or organic cotton.

Another reason fast fashion brands can produce things cheaply and in mass is through unfair labor practices. Staff members work incredibly long hours for very little money, and in some cases children are used to produce garments. By doing this it keeps the companies outgoings low, so they can charge an incredibly low price to their customers and still make a good profit. This is ethically wrong. Fast fashion brands cleverly do this and have their factories in countries where these practices are not illegal, or there's no minimum wage or restricted working hours. This does not make what they do right.

Slow fashion brands often work with factories locally so they can see the manufacturing process themselves, and know these things aren't happening. Alternatively they work with factories in countries where they have regulations, to ensure this doesn't happen. Slow fashion brands make sure that the people in their company work normal expected working hours and are of an appropriate age to be working. Not only this, but that the employees are paid a liveable wage.

This links to company ethics. First of all if a company is ticking these boxes, they're not very ethical to begin with. Fast fashion companies don't take responsibility for their actions. You will find that they don’t do anything to give back to the environment, even though they make such an impact on it. The fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of carbon emissions. More often than not, slow fashion brands understand the impact that is being made and not only take responsibility for that, but do things to help or change this. For example we plant a tree for every order to help battle global warming, and also ship carbon neutral, to eliminate our carbon emissions.

This outlines the differences between fast fashion and slow fashion and we hope when you go to purchase your next item of clothing, you think consciously.

Choose to shop guilt free, you will feel so much better for it.

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