'fast' Fashion That Should Make You 'furious'

Ashwini Gurung
Jun 03, 2019   •  32 views

Okay, the title may have seemed a little unfamiliar for a lot of my folks out there grappling with the concept of Fashion in general. So, I promise to break it down for you.

I will begin by asking a straightforward question- How often do you buy clothes and where do you buy it from? By default, this question would be directed mostly to the female population, but obviously, that's a stereotype; nonetheless, I will make this an open issue. If you find it easy to answer this question by stating when exactly was your last shopping splurge (because it was yesterday duh!) and what brands do you buy it from including thrift shopping, let me illuminate you- you are a consumer of fast fashion.

So what does this term imply and how are you being sucked into a vortex of an unfamiliar reality? The term fast Fashion refers to an expression used by fashion retailers that means contemporary Fashion in which the designs or styles move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion, and from there, immediately to the dumpster! So this means the techniques that are in trend are selected from the high fashion catalogs and runways and are increasingly available at cheaper rates in the fashion stores that cater to the middle class who can afford these and let go of these as soon as a different trend sets in.

So the stores that are involved in reproducing Fashion at that affordable market rate are H&M, Forever 21, Zara (it is expensive but relatively lesser than the upscale fashion brands), Fashion Nova, etc. If you do buy from any of these, you are participating in a process that has unavoidable negative impacts. I get the urgency because I too am obsessed with the trends that these stores always have in stock, I regularly shop from these stores, and I rarely like other brands.

So why? Why are these bad you plead? I hate to break it to you; it is indeed a series of unfortunate events. Fast Fashion goes hand in hand with the sweatshop industry, which means that workers to whom the production is being outsourced are almost always situated in Third World countries with horrible working conditions, the pay is way inferior and the workplaces are crowded with no facilities not to mention child labor itself is incorporated, synonymous with the working conditions in factories in 19th century England except it is taking place right here right now.

The environmental degradation that takes place due to the manufacturing process is more than harmful and equivalent to greenhouse gas emission, water bodies are being increasingly polluted what with the tanning industry and non biodegradable raw materials used; H&M has tried to reduce its carbon footprint through measures such as recycling old clothes but remains a significant brand in this fast fashion industry.

It is also unfair to the designers who create their clothes painstakingly for high Fashion to see it available at half the price the next day at an online store; Kim Kardashian also recently voiced her opinion on such brands that make money off of the alternatives they put forward. Due to the negative implications of Fast Fashion, many have pledged to stop buying from the stores that perpetuate this phenomenon, but definitely, it will take some time before a legitimate discourse is developed around the globalized entity.

Meanwhile, we can all try and incorporate a conscious decision.

image source: Pinterest