WHAT IS FAST FASHION?
Cheap fashion is referred to as “fast fashion” and was created to be exactly that-Fast. The purpose of the clothing is to be in your closet for a few wears and then out. It is not meant to last and therefore uses the cheapest material with the cheapest means of labor which is then sold to you at the cheapest price.
LET’S TOUCH ON 1 FACET: CHEAP LABOR
Having designed for different companies and brands comes with the weight of knowing the true cost of a garment. You wouldn’t believe how much (or more accurately, how little) companies pay for labor! You guessed it-cheap labor is a result of using sweatshops. Although manufacturers don’t use the words “sweatshops” to refer to their factories, I can testify that IT IS A REAL THING. And it breaks my heart. It also breaks my heart that most employees aren’t even aware that they are contributing to it – and even if they did, what would they do? Most of them would probably stay because it’s how they put food on their table.
What most consumers don’t know is that cheap labor doesn’t just stop at fast fashion. I’ll dive deeper into that in another post.
THE NOT-SO-CHEAP PRICE
Forever 21 changed the world of fashion, blazing the trail in this sector. The idea was great in that it allowed for mainstream consumers (aka: me and you) to afford the latest trends and have an ever-revolving wardrobe to match the ever-revolving trends. However, this new life cycle of clothing came with great costs to our environment: Discarded clothing overflows our landfills.
THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE!
Although you may be tempted to feel a little discouraged about ever buying clothes again, take heart! Here-in lies a beautiful loophole: Second hand shopping.
In addition to being bank account friendly, second hand shopping is environmentally friendly. It helps reduce landfill waste, does not contribute to outsourced labor and all that comes with it, and usually supports small/local businesses! Can we get a hip-hip-hooray?!
Head on over this way for more detail on why it’s exciting to second hand shop and the difference between thrift and consignment shopping.