Fast Fashion - Is It Good Or Bad?

Fast fashion: the worrying development in the fashion world

fast fashion

Fast fashion is a term that has been used more and more in recent years and denotes a development in the fashion world that is questionable in many ways.

Big players such as the Swedish giant H&M, the Spanish fashion chain Zara or Primark from Ireland bring new collections to the stores almost every two to three weeks and regularly provide consumers with new trends. Produced in large quantities, these brands can sell at an attractive bargain price, further boosting the already fast-moving clothing business. The whole thing is called Fast Fashion. I would like to tell you what specific problems this development entails and how you can make your consumption habits more conscious, sustainable and simply more appropriate.

Trendsetting and price dumping: The problems of the fast fashion industry

fast fashion

In order to better understand the current fashion boom, it is worth taking a closer look at the business model of the fast-fashion giants. The big fashion chains live from the quick recognition of certain clothing trends that will be immediately included in the next collection. As fashion trends change quickly, the manufacturing cycles are shortened more and more. This has a negative impact on the factory operators, who are mostly located in the global south or in the Asian region.

The tight delivery times, the low sales prices and the quality demands of the consumers have an extremely negative effect, especially on the seamstresses. In the factories there is high time and performance pressure on the women workers, labour law is consistently violated, and despite numerous overtime hours, wages are often not enough for a decent life.

Buying and throwing away - a fatal cycle for people and the environment

fast fashion

Compared to the year 2000, clothing production has more than doubled according to the current status - and the trend is clearly towards further growth of the now gigantic industry. Conversely, this also means that a large part of the clothing purchased is quickly sorted out without being really worn often. A look at the statistics reveals that every people buys an average of 60 new items of clothing per year, which means a little more than one article in a week. Even more frightening is the fact that we only wear a garment an average of four times before it is sorted out in the used clothing container and ends up on huge garbage dumps.

The fast-fashion model also has major negative effects in the ecological area. Since a large part of the discarded clothing consists of cheap, non-recyclable synthetic fibres, the fabrics are not suitable for the production of new items. When washing, small parts of the fibres also get into the oceans via the wastewater. This is an extremely big ecological problem since the material is hardly biodegradable and thus further pollution of the oceans.

The water balance of cotton garments is also a serious environmental problem. Around 15,000 litres of water are required to produce a simple T-shirt, plus a considerable amount of environmentally harmful chemicals. Last but not least, the production itself emits a large amount of CO2, which drives climate change and damages the environment.

Fast fashion

Conscious consumption is the solution

fast fashion

But how do we deal with the ever-increasing range and the bargain prices of the fast-fashion chains? One solution is to ignore the big fashion groups H&M, Zara, Primark and Co and to fall back on stylish alternatives from more responsible and environmentally conscious companies. It is always worth taking a look at the brand's production site, which is ideally located within the EU. You can also rely on recognized certificates such as the Green Button, the first state textile label. Although the price paid is higher there, in return, you will also receive garments of better quality and with longer life.

On the next shopping tour, ask yourself whether you really need the items of clothing you have found and how often you are likely to use them. Such considerations raise awareness and often lead to the conclusion that a further purchase is not as necessary as previously thought. Rather, it is worthwhile to wear the existing wardrobe over a longer period of time and also across seasons and thus live more sustainably. Instead of paying a high price for a large amount of cheap clothing from the fast-fashion giant, fewer, but high-quality items are the much better option. And a look at a second-hand shop is also worthwhile! Here you can also hand in the clothes that you no longer wear.

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