What is fast fashion?

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the fast fashion industry before. But what does it actually mean, and why is fast fashion bad? Let’s take it from the beginning!

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is a term that describes today’s fashion industry, more specifically how a fashion idea and design move from the catwalk to actual garments hanging in the stores in no time – in order for the retailers to constantly keep up with the latest trends. The fast fashion industry is thereby characterized by mass production and mass consumption, due to low production costs and low prices. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want cheap and trendy clothes, right? Well – there’s another side to the story…

Why is fast fashion bad?

First of all, the low production costs within the fast fashion industry are often on behalf of the working conditions of the people producing the garments. Often, the factory workers are paid minimum wages and work more than 10 hours a day. Secondly, mass production means that immense amounts of textiles have to be produced in order to create the garments. Additionally, the cheap retail prices that enable mass consumption in the first place also results in huge amounts of functioning clothes and textiles being thrown away daily, only to be replaced by new garments. This causes enormous amounts of waste and Co2-emissions. As a consequence, the fast fashion industry has a huge negative impact on our beloved planet. It is clear to say that fast fashion is unsustainable in multiple aspects; not only ethically and environmentally, but also economically in the long run due to the constant disposing of garments that are no longer on-trend – only to be replaced by new, trendy ones immediately.

So – what’s the alternative to fast fashion, then?

There is a solution to the depressing issue that is fast fashion – and it is, not very surprisingly maybe, called slow fashion! You can read all about slow fashion here.