Have you noticed the trending terms “slow fashion” and “fast fashion” mentioned by your favorite sustainable brands or style bloggers? If you’re passionate about personal style, you might be interested in learning more about these concepts.
What is fast fashion? According to good on you, fast fashion is “cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand”. This accounts for most of the fashion that we in US wear every day. Slow fashion, in contrast, is crafted more thoughtfully, giving consideration to the materials, garment workers, and longevity, rather than quick-to-fade fads.
Today we’d like to share a little more about fast fashion and why many consumers are replacing it with sustainable alternatives.
5 Things To Know About Fast Fashion
It’s not as disposable as it seems. Given its emphasis on trends, fast fashion is not designed to last. While fast fashion is most commonly worn for just a season and then tossed or donated, those materials don’t just go away. A lot of it is produced with synthetic fabrics like polyester, which is not biodegradable. Plus, there’s just so much of it that even some of what you donate may skip the secondhand store and head straight to the landfill, where it simply piles up. (Luckily, you can help combat this on an individual level by bringing unwanted worn-out clothing directly to a textile recycling center!)
It harms people and the planet. The negative impacts of the fashion industry on garment workers has long been documented, with major tragedies like 2013’s Rana Plaza factory collapse, which sparked a Fashion Revolution, but environmental impacts are still unknown to many consumers. In 2019, Business Insider reported that “the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world's water supply, and pollutes the oceans with microplastics”.
It’s not the most original. Fast fashion pieces are often created based off of designs that independent designers have dreamt up. It’s nice to see a beautiful design at a great price, but there is something about getting the real thing! By doing so, you’ll directly support the designer whose hard work inspired those trends to begin with.
It’s not always lower priced. While these items are made cheaply, they are not always sold at a bargain. Each brand can decide how much they mark up their clothing, so it’s not just those $5 tees that fall into this category. However, if they turn out new product very often, especially those that lack natural fibers, they can still be considered fast fashion.
There are tons of alternatives! It can be disappointing to learn that some of your favorite brands may not adhere to the highest standards when it comes to quality and sustainability, there’s good news too—new “slow fashion” brands are emerging every day, and it’s getting easier to find and fall in love with alternatives!
We are a small batch, low waste brand producing limited quantities of clothing twice a year. This gives us time to collaborate with our artisan partners, focus on natural fibers and handcrafted details, and design clothing that transcends trends. We want all Souk Indigo clothing to become a closet staple! Learn more about our sustainability commitment here.