How many people give it much thought whether or not an article of clothing is considered fast fashion when they see a cute dress in the window? We can't speak for others but at that moment a lot of us are likely guilty of thinking more about what shoes goes well with that dress or how it would be a show stopper at your girlfriend's birthday bash next weekend.
The term "fast fashion" has become quite the buzz for the last little while but what does it actually mean? In short, it's the ability to take designs from the catwalk and quickly replicating for the mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. So what's the problem? Isn't it good to stay one step ahead of the game and be fashionable?
Unfortunately, for fashion retailers to utilize trend replication and meet rapid production timelines generally means they will use lower quality materials in order to bring inexpensive styles to the public. To turn high volumes means the articles of clothing need to be cheap and affordable. Toxic chemicals and dangerous dyes which seep into water supplies are common results in the manufacturing process. Unfair labour laws are another consideration since bottom lines are at stake, manufacturing in countries where there are minimal rights or regulations in order to meet the volume demands are inevitable.
Fast fashion does not only move quickly from the runway into the hands of consumers but also to the garbage as well. In the US alone, 11 million tons of clothing is thrown away each year.
So the next time you walk by that cute dress in the window?
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