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  • Cosima Krome

Fast Fashion

Fast fashion refers to clothing designs that get copied from runway shows of luxury designers by cheap brands. Most of the time the clothes are carelessly made, and the quality is bad.

However, the advantage of fast fashion is that people with less money can access new, stylish and trendy clothes. It is also profitable for the stores, as they can produce new clothes so that the customer will keep coming back and make new purchases.

One of the disadvantages is that fast fashion companies use cheap materials that are bad for the environment. As over 60% of these clothes are made of synthetics, they mould in landfills for years when thrown away. It is impossible to recycle them.

Also, the clothes are produced under bad working conditions with poor pay and abusive practices. Another problem is copyright as some designers claim that their designs have been illegally duplicated.

Ultimately, fast fashion encourages a throwaway consumer mentality. That is why it is also called disposable fashion. Many fast fashion buyers in their teens and early twenties, the age group the industry targets, admit they only wear their purchases once or twice. Fast fashion brands are for instance Zara, H&M, GAP, Primark and UNIQLO.

The opposite of fast fashion is slow fashion. Slow fashion uses environmentally friendly materials and mindful manufacturing, focusing on quality rather than quantity. It avoids cheap materials and only uses recycled packaging. While these are the advantages of slow fashion, the disadvantage is that less people can afford it since it is more expensive.

How can you avoid using fast fashion without having to spend too much money?

You can buy clothes from second-hand stores, where you can find very stylish vintage clothes. Second-hand is great, since even if it is from a fast fashion brand, you save it from being thrown away, so it is still much better for the environment. Another option would be to upcycle your own clothes, which means buying second-hand and altering the clothes slightly to make them look more original. You can also help stop fast fashion. For example, you can inform other people about the awful things fast fashion causes.

Everyone should understand that the satisfaction you get from buying a lot of fashionable clothes is not in proportion to the exploitation of workers and damage this consumer behaviour causes to the planet.

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