If you didn’t already know, the term fast fashion is a buzz phrase that is used in the sustainability industry. As these industries are encouraged to grow and move towards an ethical and completely sustainable future, it’s in everyone’s best interest to know what they’re up against. But let’s dive deeper, what does the term really stand for?
Fast fashion is a methodology that focuses on marketing, design, and manufacturing to produce extremely high volumes of clothing. Garment factories tend to usually replicate using lower-quality materials to create some of the best yet inexpensive styles for the public. As such, consumers have made the movement a success and consumption rates are off the charts.
However, these habits have become something to think about since they negatively impact the environment, garment workers and of course the wallets of every consumer who needs to have the latest dress, pair of shoes, or ladies leather gloves. properly understand the true concept of fast fashion, we must first look at the context and history of the movement. To
Until the mid-twentieth century, the fashion sector ran on just four seasons per year. These include the likes of spring, summer, fall, and winter. This allowed designers all around the globe to properly prepare from the months ahead to plan and predict. All of this went into giving customers exactly what they needed.
While this method was highly methodical, it reduced the implications brought on by the wearers. Fashion was once a part of the high society culture and rules governed every aspect of it. However, the dawn of the 1960s led to a successful marketing campaign for paper clothes. This then proved that consumers were ready to jump on the fashion trend.
If the fashion industry was going to keep up, then it to had to move according to a new pace with lower costs. Not too long ago, stores used to have an extensive supply of stock so that brands wouldn’t run out of clothes. Fast forward to a couple of decades later and there is simply no point of return for the fashion industry.
In the modern world, fashion brands are forced to produce about 52 micro seasons in just one year. This equates to exactly one new collection per week. As stated by Elizabeth Cline, all of this started when Zara decided to shift the new delivers to a bi-weekly schedule. Ever since clothing stores had a constant supply of clothes at all time and brands didn’t need to worry about every running out again.
As companies replicate the once esteemed fashion week trends, companies are required to create new styles on a weekly basis. Brands now produce massive amounts of clothing and they ensure that customers never get bored with their line or closet. Brands such as Zara, Topshop, and H&M do often experience overproduction issues, but even the prestige luxury brands are forced to deal with the same from time to time.
Apparel companies already make over 53 million tons of clothing each year according to Fast Company. If this trend continues, by 2050, there is an alarming 160 million tons of clothing expected.
While most spend time debating what happened first, the need to look fresh is growing rapidly. The industry’s top players are more actively trying to convince us that we’re the ones responsible for such growth. This comes after the trends that consumers buy something as soon as it comes out since they’re always in search for the next best thing.