Fast Fashion companies like Fashion Nova and Pretty Little Thing have come under fire for profiting off designers original pieces and selling them at cheaper costs. Some say that’s just the downside of the fashion business, while others argue that they are doing a disservice and taking advantage of creatives. Other complaints have been that their products low quality, while others praise the companies for providing relief in terms of cost.
So, what is fast fashion? According to the Oxford Dictionary, fast fashion is inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. Most fast fashion companies receive new inventory on a weekly or biweekly basis which is how they can remain trend-right. Examples of other fast fashion brands would be H&M, Forever 21, and Zara.
The most important component of fast fashion would be the consumer. The consumer has buying power which ultimately controls the success or failure of any business. Without consumers reaching out with their dollars to attain these trend-right items at a rapid rate, fast fashion would cease to exist. Another component to the success of fast fashion is the frequency of clothing disposal amongst consumers; they are always looking for the next best thing which means the old stuff must be disposed of. It's all a part of a cycle; retailers offer trendy merchandise, consumers shop till they drop and wear those items for a short amount of time and once the thrill is gone, so is the product. Consumers either throw the clothing away, recycle or resell the items, and the cycle begins again.
Fast fashion can survive on low-cost goods, produced at a rapid rate because of consumers’ response to trends at low prices and the Clothing Disposal Cycle. The ability to be as fashion forward as the celebs who they idolize without having to break the bank is exciting. Affordability is key when it comes to the mass market of consumers and allows those consumers access to a wider range of products.
I think that fast fashion companies are here to stay because they have tapped into that niche market of affordable fashion. This makes them top-of-mind amongst consumers, even amongst those consumers with discretionary income who could afford to shop designer brands. This has made fast fashion very attractive amongst fashion consumers. If fast fashion brands can establish themselves as a trend authority in the fashion industry, they will survive.