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Ending Fast Fashion

July 28, 2020

As fashion consumers, we are always on the lookout for new trends and items to add to our closets. Sometimes, retailers can take advantage of that opportunity of a quick turn around on fashion. That’s when the work of fast fashion comes into play. This is a term used by fashion retailers to describe clothing that is on trend and cheaply made. Businesses that are always “on top” of trends are usually guilty of producing fast fashion items. They are constantly producing to match what their client demands. You might be asking yourself “why is that so bad?”

Not only does fast fashion effect many humans around the world job wise, it also effects our environment greatly. Because of how fast retailers need to keep up with demands of trendy styles, they cut costs and corners that increases their carbon footprint. It is a key part of the “toxic system” of overproduction, making the fashion industry one of the largest contributors to pollution in the world. Did you know that it takes 2,700 liters of water to make 1 Cotton t-shirt? Fast fashion is no friend to our environment. It highly contributes to the excessive amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions that have been polluting our air for years.

While we are fighting for human rights, fast fashion isn’t helping the demand of equal wages or good working conditions around the globe. In fact, they are doing the complete opposite, forcing workers to work harder and longer to produce a quick turnaround of “trendy” clothes.

Ways you can spot a “Fast Fashion” brand:

  • Trendy outfits, thousands of options
    • Forever 21, one of the leading giants in fast fashion, declared their bankruptcy and reveled major flaws in the fashion world.
  • Always on top of trends, quick turn around
  • Oversea manufacturing where labor is the cheap with the use of workers with low wages
  • Low quality and cheap materials (wear it twice then throw it away)
    • Most fast fashion brands use polyester since its cheap and wrinkle free. More than 70 million barrels of oil are used to make polyester each year. Polyester isn’t biodegradable which means when you throw it away it ends up in landfills and takes over 200 years to decompose.

Many brands are starting to make it a part of their mission to approach fashion in an ethical way – both for people and our environment. Here are a few brands that are starting to make that change:

Pact: Their entire supply chain comes from the growing and harvesting of organic cotton, while trying to be as clean and responsible as possible throughout the entire time of production.

  • Fair Trade Certified, Organic Cotton, B Corp

Girlfriend Collective: An activewear brand that reuses some if its offcuts to minimize textile waste. They ensure wastewater in its supply chain is treated and discharged properly. Their products are free of all animal material and focuses on the fundamental freedom principles. “Trash looks better on you than it does polluting the planet”.

  • Fair Trade Certified collections, sustainable materials & practices, plus & petite sizes

Patagonia: Was one of the earliest defenders of environmental ethics in the activewear fashion industry, and one of the first adopters of using recycled materials and switching to organic cotton.

  • Fair Trade Certified collections, organic cotton, environmental sustainability

Levi’s: This brand touts eco-friendly and sustainable practices like recyclable denim, ethically sourced cotton, and innovations to reduce water use, in addition to giving back to their workers and community organizations alike.

  • Ethically produced, sustainable practices, give back program

Stores that realized they weren’t doing their part and are slowly starting to make a difference:

  • Allbirds
  • ASOS
  • Converse

If you are curious if what you are wearing is eco-friendly and slow fashioned, check out this link to find out! Let’s wear the change we want to see­­ and allow slow fashion to be in the main frame of the fashion industry.







Written by: Avery Watts

Avery is a Special Events Coordinator with a BA in Interior Design. She enjoys writing for the blog, because it allows her to grow in developing thoughts and opinions on the pieces of culture she consumes. When not planning events, Avery likes to thrift, cook, and watch reality TV shows.