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Fast Fashion Vs. Sustainable Fashion

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LMU chapter.


For most people, fashion is a really great aspect of life. Staying in tune with the latest trends and developing our tastes is really important. Brands like H&M and Forever 21 make it easy for us to get the latest trends quickly and at a very cheap price. But, these brands are actually damaging our planet.

Fast fashion is designed to be quickly replaced. It is not necessarily driven by desire, but rather by need. The point of fast fashion is to be able to respond to consumer tastes as quickly as possible. Americans are actually buying five time the amount of clothes they were in 1980 (Where Does Discarded Clothing Go?). But, with more buying comes more waste. Approximately 10.5 million tons of textile waste, to be exact. The products are also made of synthetic and inorganic materials, so it can’t degrade properly, resulting in a buildup of waste and environmental damage. Not to mention the rising emissions of greenhouse gases due to the growing demand for more products.

Sustainable fashion has been developed in a response to fast fashion. Also called eco fashion, this ideal was founded on environmental sustainability and a social responsibility to take care of our planet. Sustainable fashion clothing is a well designed and well produced piece that will actually last five times longer than a fast fashion piece. Usually, these sustainable pieces are made with natural fibers and can break down easily.

On reason fast fashion is so popular is because of its affordability. A lot of sustainable fashion pieces can be a more pricey because they are made with better materials. These pieces will last longer and are better quality. However, not all sustainable fashion is expensive! Sustainable fashion includes anything purchased from a thrift store, or any vintage clothing item because instead of purchasing something new and cheaply made, you are purchasing something that will not end up in a landfill.

Spending the extra money on sustainable fashion is difficult, especially as college students, but it is worth it because not only are you saving the environment, but you are saving yourself money because your pieces will last longer! Also, there are tons of cool pieces you can find in thrift stores for super cheap. If you don’t find anything you like, you can find lots of different cool DIYs to turn old pieces into modern ones.