What Is Fast Fashion Industry And The Best Alternative

Luna Afroz

Posted on October 06 2022

What Is Fast Fashion Industry And The Best Alternative

Over the two decades, the decline in fashion prices has made people buy more clothes, and they now have around five times more clothes than past generations. In reality, the continuous growth of cheap garments is only possible with a constant reduction of production costs. As a result, a voluminous amount of clothes must be produced yearly. 

The excess habit of shopping can be defined as fast fashion. In manufacturing, much damage is caused to human health, our planet, and labour's life. In this writing, we will discuss the impact of fast fashion and look for alternatives to fast fashion


What Is Fast Fashion?


The most straightforward definition of fast fashion can be explained as a business model that bulk produces fashion clothes using cheap materials. In this type of fashion, clothing labels sample ideas from fashion shows, celebrities and influencers and turn them into clothes available online and in stores almost overnight. However, these garments are cheap yet trendy. 

Fast fashion is filled with the growing consumer desire for speed and value within retail. Rather than waiting for a new seasonal collection, buyers can get fashionable clothes all year round at a significantly lower price. 


Why Is Fast Fashion Bad?


You might be thinking why fast fashion is terrible even though as a consumer it is a profitable deal for you and you can get advantages of fast fashion. The answer is that the fashion industry stands second regarding environmental pollution in the world after oil. To produce trendy clothes overnight in bulk, fashion companies need to reduce costs and speed up their production time, which can mean cutting corners in the name of profit. In the whole process, nature, humans and animals are harmed. Below we have mentioned some fast fashion problems that will make you change your shopping habits.


The impact on the environment-

 Fast fashion is responsible for most of the environmental destruction, and it is continuing. Fast fashion industries use toxic substances, chemicals, dyes and synthetic fibres that flow into water supplies in countries where garments are manufactured. Moreover, the same clothes pollute the water at your home while you do your laundry. This makes the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water after agriculture. 


Fast fashion clothing wastage contains lead, pesticides, and other life-threatening chemicals. The new trendy clothes are introduced in the market so frequently that it disposes of more and more clothes, developing a vast amount of textile waste. However, the sad part is that most of the garments going into the trash can be reused. These clothes never break down and continue releasing toxic chemicals into the air for years.


Violation of human rights-

 Millions of workers work in the garment industry today, and in the majority, their rights and protections are being violated. Garment workers are the most underpaying category in the world. These workers are usually underpaid and pushed to their limits because they often have few other options. 


The process of fast fashion majorly affects human health, which produces them. It is so because many fabrics and accessories contain dangerous amounts of lead. Hence, workers continually get exposed and risk their life by getting heart attacks, infertility, and more. In addition, these workers' health is at a higher risk as they work for a longer duration, work with minimum resources, and often go through physical abuse. 


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Impact on animals-

Fast fashion is majorly responsible for impacting animal life all over the world. Marine life is moving the most as marine animals digest the harmful dyes and microfibers released in water bodies affecting their life cycle and killing them.

The life of animals is also at a higher risk when their products, such as leather and animal fur, are used to make apparel. A considerable quantity of real animal fur is being produced in fur farms that have made natural hair cheaper to produce and buy than faux fur.


Impact on consumers-

Fast fashion is rapidly encouraging the throwaway culture because of the speed at which clothes become antiquated and the rate at which trends are produced. Fast fashion makes us believe we must keep shopping to stay on trend. And this trend keeps increasing the carbon footprint. 

Best Alternatives To Fast Fashion:

The fast fashion industry creates inexpensive clothing to keep up with rapidly changing trends. Fast fashion companies target workers in low-income areas with limited employment options. As a result, people in low-income neighbourhoods are more likely to tolerate the poor and exploitative labour conditions prevalent in fast fashion. However, several fast fashion alternatives can make consumer wardrobes more ethical and sustainable, reducing carbon footprint and global poverty.


1.Support the local thrift stores-

Thrift shopping is the most affordable alternative to fast fashion. Thrift shops are great alternatives for people who do not wish to promote poor working conditions in the fashion world. The thrift stores offer clothes at more affordable costs than fast fashion companies without causing any harm to the workers or the environment. Customers can help thrift stores by donating clothes. Donating clothes to these shops offers a wide range of choices for consumers who cannot afford ethical and sustainable fashion.


2. Trade clothes online-

There are various websites that offer buying, selling and trading of clothes. Some apps and sites offer a wide range of ethical, sustainable, second-hand and handmade clothing at different and affordable prices. You can also use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to buy, sell, and trade used clothes rather than supporting fast fashion. 


3.Shop from ethical and sustainable brands-

You can still purchase brand-new clothes without supporting the fast fashion industry. Many clothing firms offer alternatives to fast fashion for consumers with flexible budgets. Some brands support workers in low-income areas, ensuring they get fair compensation and good working conditions. Moreover, some companies use renewable energy, recycling packaging, and organic materials to maintain sustainability. 


4. Focus on buying quality clothing-

People buying fast fashion clothes usually get stuck in a quick fashion cycle. They often purchase cheap, low-quality clothes from fast fashion companies to keep up with the changing trends. However, clothes from fast fashion companies usually wear out and do not remain in movement. People with financial means can buy high-quality, timeless clothing alternatives as fast fashion can only last till the following season. As a result, customers can contribute to poverty and exploitation of workers. 


5. Learn to make and repair clothes-

Learning to make and repair clothes is an ethical, sustainable, and affordable alternative to fast fashion. People who make their clothes can select their fabric, keeping sustainable and ethical brands in mind. Moreover, those who learn to sew can repair their old clothes rather than buy new clothes from fast fashion. 


Final Thoughts:


You contribute to competing global poverty and environmental degradation when you shop ethically and sustainably. However, many fast fashion alternatives help consumers to work against worker exploitation. Over time, ethical clothing purchases can make enduring impacts on the lives of people around the world. So, the next time you think about why fast fashion is good, keep the above in mind. 


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