Let's stop Fast Fashion - less is more
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
A question that nobody can escape is: To what extent are we willing to put aside our moral principles in order to buy at a lower price or have more items for the same price?
The dilemma obviously involves fast fashion, that is the textile industry system that produces fashion at high speed (fast) and at low price (low cost). Just look at any fast fashion brand website to see how even every week the assortment in the store changes. Furthermore, the articles tend to imitate the trends of the moment by proposing them at affordable prices and poor quality.
It is intuitive that producing at such low prices affects the social and environmental cost of the fashion industry.
The brands in the sector do not pay due attention to environmental protection regulations and bypass the legislation to protect workers.
Some of these companies even exploit child labor or labor forced to work at inhumane rhythms.
But what are the fast fashion brands that in a certain sense constitute the black soul of the fashion industry, the one that practices affordable prices through a reduction in costs without moral, social and environmental scruples?
Unfortunately, there are many more than one might think. The long list (attached at the end of the article) includes not only names like Boohoo, Shein, H&M and Zara but also brands like Guess, Victoria's Secret or Adidas.
One wonders how it is possible that in a present sensitized in terms of environmental sustainability and respect for workers' rights even in the fashion industry, scandals such as the one involving Booho occur. The British fast fashion brand has in fact been accused of exploiting workers paid $ 4 per hour.
As in other fields (separate collection, plastic free life, fair trade) the root of the problem, I think, lies in the belief that the behavior of the individual is not actually capable of influencing the system. According to a psychological process of de-responsibility, we tend to diminish the impact of our choices in order to avoid depriving ourselves of the convenience of a low-priced "fashion".
Therefore, an even more assiduous work of raising consumer awareness is needed. Convince ourselves of the importance of each of our individual choices, enter into the perspective that each of our single purchases is capable of changing the world, even more so in the fashion industry.
Only in this way can we hope to put a stop to the demand for ephemeral and irresponsible fashion. The goal is to leave unsold that product that tempts us with an attractive price but does not respond to our real consumer needs.
This will make room for a "world" made up, for example, of sophisticated second-hand stores or adorable vintage fashion stores.
But above all, the awareness could develop that to "be fashionable" often a few selected items are enough rather than numerous items of low quality and rapid obsolescence. At that point it is not fast fashion that we turn to but we invest in the versatility and quality of a product that will not make us ashamed to ask how it was created: a strategic and timeless wardrobe will thus consist of brands capable of respecting the consumer for the which they create.
Bishop, K. and Bishop, K. (2010). Fast Fashion Rental. [online] Fashion | LS:N Global. Available at: https://www.lsnglobal.com/fashion/article/24237/fast-fashion-rental-2 [Accessed 2 Dec. 2020].
Thomasson, E. (2020). Amazon, ASOS, Zalando, and Next drop Boohoo over illegal wage claims - Business Insider. [online] Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-asos-zalando-and-next-drop-boohoo-over-illegal-wage-claims-2020-7?r=US&IR=T [Accessed 30 Nov. 2020].
Crespo, R. (2019). Minimalism Made Simple. [online] Minimalism Made Simple. Available at: https://www.minimalismmadesimple.com/home/-fast-fashion-brands [Accessed 1 Dec. 2020].