Fast fashion is a term that a lot of people don’t understand, which is why we will take a detailed look at it today. The term is not a new one in the fashion industry, and it has become more popular in recent times. These days, a large part of many women’s wardrobe is the result of fast fashion, it has risen to the extent that is has started affecting the overall fashion industry and style experts are beginning to look into it with the aim of either encouraging or discouraging the practice.
The best way to define fast fashion is by explaining where the supposed need for it came from. Have you seen the glamourous and highly expensive clothes worn by women and men in the entertainment industry? I am referring to the red carpet fish gowns, the classy denim, the sexy bodysuits, the power suits, cute rompers and so much more. These clothing items are very hard for the average person to get, and even when you find them, you just don’t have the amount of money needed to buy them, this is where fast fashion comes in.
Let us not forget the clothes worn by supermodels on the runway, these clothes are made specially by world-class fashion designers, usually to launch a new style, and this is done at fashion shows. That breath-taking gown you saw on Naomi Campbell on the runway is not something you can easily buy as quickly as you would like, that is where fast fashion comes into play. As the name implies, it is a fast way of getting clothes, and at a strikingly affordable price as well.
Fast fashion can be seen as a branch in the fashion industry where clothes that have just been released are recreated and distributed by other designers, who then make it available to the average customer… this is done at a very fast pace. The method of marketing the products of fast fashion is different from others, that is why you see the clothes at local stores almost immediately the new trend is released. As you can tell, this entire idea has affected the entire fashion business in both positive and negative ways, but that is something we will go into later.
Since the ideas used to make the cheap clothes you see at your local stores are gotten from the runway or from celebrities who have made it a signature design, the fashion business is not the same anymore. The well-known tradition of introducing fashion trends by the season has been greatly affected, this is because fast fashion retailers are very prolific, they can introduce more than one trend every week just to stay relevant to the general consumers.
Reasons why fast fashion has been successful
- The most obvious reason why fast fashion has been so successful is because of the low cost of products. It is hard to resist the appeal of an affordable garment that looks exactly like what you saw on your favorite super model or celebrity few days ago. The cheap cost of these fast fashion items also means that a customer can buy a lot more clothes while being frugal. Cheap rompers, gowns, dresses and more are available at a discount. People can now have a stuffed-up wardrobe after spending a relatively small amount of money.
- Another reason why fast fashion is making waves is because of the speed at which clothes are made and dished out to stores near you. Most times, when you see a new trend of fashion, you may wonder what it will take to have one made for you. Apart from the financial implications, you can’t just have the dress you saw at a fashion show immediately it is released, but fast fashion makes it possible to have those items at a very short time. In fact, you will be the one wondering which trend to pick from.
- The materials used to make fast fashion items are of low quality, therefore the products can be cheap and available in a very short while. Most critics use this point emphatically when speaking against fast fashion and when you really look at the effects, you will understand why.
Reasons for the move against fast fashion
There is a current move against fast fashion in the industry, and here are some of the main reasons.
- It has really affected the balance of business for the original designers of those trends that are being replicated and sold at cheap prices in local stores. The speed at which these designs are being copied and sold is what even makes it worse for those original designers who put the style on the runway in the first place.
- The products from fast fashion are of really poor quality, though this is one of the reasons why it can be affordable to the buyer with a slim purse, it doesn’t last long. The low quality products displayed in shelves are made up of cheap fabric and will become useless sooner than later.
- The most ignored effect of fast fashion is that which it has on the environment. The clothes don’t last long and in a matter of months, users throw them away, causing a great amount of textile waste. There is also the issue of excessive chemical use due to constant demand and speed of making low quality fabric, and this affects the quality of soil.
- Financially speaking, the clothes bought from fast fashion can drain more money than high quality purchases, this is ironic when you look at how affordable things are in the fast fashion market, but it is true. Thanks to the low quality of textiles used in fast fashion, you will notice damage in your clothes after a short while and as expected, you will want to buy a replacement. This is how one could end up spending more money on repeated items due to damage, instead of just spending the big cash at once for a high quality fabric that will last for many years. What would you rather do?