Fast Fashion

Merriam-Webster defines Fast Fashion as “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers”. Basically, it’s all those mall chains like Forever21, H&M, Rue21, Zara and more that are always quickly producing on-trend items for consumers.

 

 

    Once upon a time, people shopped at department stores a few times a year to get their wardrobes ready for the coming seasons. This “two-season model” is how fashion functioned. They prepared themselves for spring/summer and fall/winter, and that's how many people shopped. Manufacturers would use this to their advantage, they sold right to the department store in preparation for these seasons. An easy way for these brands to make more money was to cut out the middleman, and when they did these companies began to grow. As manufacturers produced and sold their own items they could control the prices and lower them while upping the amount they produced to make more money. Nowadays, this two-season model is pretty lax. People shop more to keep up with trends than they do for preparation for coming seasons. A large part of this can be seen because of social media and the rise of celebrity influence on everyday lives. It is very obvious that these fast fashion brands are making clothes to mimic that of the more expensive brands that celebrities/influencers are shopping, when they do this they are creating a demand for those who wish to have a style like the people they are following.

 

    The main idea is to cheaply manufacture items that look high fashion so that everyday consumers can purchase them without breaking the bank. While the idea is one that makes sense, that doesn’t mean its always ethical. Along with the fact that many of these items are direct rip-offs of higher-end items, they also can lead to waste when the garment breaks down and becomes unwearable - or when it is deemed unfashionable and disposed of by the consumer. More often than not people will just throw out the cheaper items they’ve purchased rather than the ones they paid more money for. With the development of a system that requires brands to always produce new items, there is a heavy strain on the creativity of designers who always have to stay on top of trends. This leads to many lookalikes in stores which are very similar copies of items you see made by manufacturers that are less known or more expensive.

 

Let's face it, everyone shops these fast fashion stores. They're cheap and convenient, and always have what you’re looking for. When shopping try and buy items you’re more likely to wear often instead of just something that is on trend. If it means spending more money, think about the fact that you’ll get way more wear than you would from that $12.50 tee shirt with the rose applique that you’ll hate in three months (we’ve all been there).

 

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