Fast fashion has dominated the industry in most recent years, and sadly, their business model has become the benchmark of how fashion should be produced.
Fast fashion is “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers” (Merriam Webster). The fast fashion business model relies on quick inventory turns; manufacturing and producing new clothing every other week to keep the sales floor fresh with new desirable items. They are changing their inventory faster than trends are coming and going. Inevitably, this leads to high changing consumer demand and overconsumption. We all want the newest items, and now because of fast fashion, we can have them all right at our fingertips. Shoutout to Instagram and influencer culture for the idea that we AREN’T ALLOWED to wear the same outfit again if it has been previously featured on our feed—*eye roll*. (Let's change this stigma, alright?)
We may have the trendiest items in our closet, with pieces as low as $9.99, but at what cost? “The EPA--Environmental Protection Agency--estimated that the generation of textiles in 2015 was 16 million tons” (EPA). That is a significant number, and it is proven to have grown exponentially. And what is even scarier is that an average American will throw away 70 pounds of clothing each year, whereas 95% of all discarded clothing could actually be recycled! (EDGE). With fast fashion’s utilization of cheap and synthetic materials (and synthetic dyes), their rapid production rates, and excessive emissions of green house gas from their factories, our environment is falling deeper and deeper into a state that may not ever be able to recover.
This doesn't even begin to touch on the humanitarian issues that fast fashion faces. A majority of these fast fashion giants outsource their labor to third would countries where their garment workers get paid little to nothing so that a shirt can cost $5.99 at the end of the day. Add on around the clock hours and horrible working conditions to get a sense of what garment workers face every single day going into work. Remember the 2012 Bangladesh garment factory fire that killed over 100 people due to a short circuit in a poorly managed facility?
Changes need to be made. It is a fact that we need to consume LESS and consume more RESPONSIBLY. It’s about time to start thinking about the companies we are buying from and supporting, and hold brands accountable.
Our mission at Moda Verde is to research, curate, and educate you on sustainable apparel brands and the continuous efforts they are making to take care of people and the planet--all while looking good.