Inexpensive style sounds like a dream, right? Who doesn’t love finding a good deal? However, this isn’t about snagging your favorite designer at a super low discount. We’re talking about replicating trends at an alarmingly fast rate, resulting in cheaply made garments and accessories. This movement toward fast production has sparked an industry-wide movement resulting in overwhelming amounts of consumption. This overconsumption becomes a cycle of over-spending, discarded waste, and moving on to the next trend.
One of the most harmful aspects of this fast fashion movement is its effect on our environment. Manufacturing produces waste and consumption of our natural resources. When production increases to meet growing market demands, naturally, waste also increases, further taxing our environment. One of the increasing concerns to fast fashion is the level of landfill pollution due to the use of toxic chemicals and dangerous dyes used in fast material production. Trendy by definition means an item is only desirable for a short period. Quickly discarded clothes typically end up in already overfilled landfills. Unfortunately, cheaply made doesn’t mean it doesn’t last, so these discarded items leave an astounding large carbon footprint for such a short shelf life - not to mention the waste caused by unused remnants that become discarded after production. Knowing these disturbing truths inspired me to use every possible scrap of cork material to ensure minimal waste. Our hand-made Remi Earrings are made from remnants to reduce what we discard after production!
It’s not just the environment that suffers as garment workers also suffer under the fast fashion production model strain. Frequently we hear of workers being overworked, underpaid, and exposed to harmful chemicals under poor working conditions. My brand was built on our inherent human right to have the freedom to live life without restraints, so I am committed to seeing all humanity have access to fair and humane working conditions. We can all contribute to this mission by committing to only purchasing garments made in ethical manufacturing plants. I will happily pay more for the desired item knowing that its purchase provides fair pay to the artisan that helped bring it to life!
So how did we get to this place of mass consumption, you may ask? Historically fashion used to be produced in four seasonal collections. It makes sense, right? We need different styles based on the weather of each season. But with fast fashion, many brands produce weekly collections ensuring consumers never tire of the styles and have them readily available (nothing quite like instant gratification, am i right?) EXCEPT for the constant pursuit of MORE results in overconsumption, excess waste, and harm to the environment.
Listen, I don’t want to leave you with a feeling of doom and gloom! I’m all about teaching some hard truths, but I am even more about sharing with you how to avoid this trap of trendy threads with something more sustainable (and still look good while you save the planet!) The opposition of fast fashion is….wait for it….slow fashion!
Slow fashion is a commitment to buying better quality, longer-lasting garments from brands whose practices focus on manufacturing with the fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet in mind. Just typing those words right now felt like a breath of fresh air! We can combat this wave of consumption with intentional buying choices that apply not only to the garments and accessories themselves but also to how companies market and package their products! More and more consumers want to make purchases from slow and sustainable brands. The more we make our voice heard, the greater the push for brands to shift to a sustainable approach to showing up in the world. Share this post with your friends, and together let’s get the word out about the kind of impact we can make with our fashion purchases!