What's your Relationship with Fast Fashion?
We believe the key to any good relationship is transparency and aligned core values, without these you’ve got issues! We’ve listed some fashion relationship statuses and the troubles you might be having, along with tips on how to better align your ethics with your wardrobe.
Fast Fashion: A Brief Definition
But what is ‘fast fashion’? This term describes the process of catwalk trends that are quickly picked up by mainstream stores and manufactured as quickly and inexpensively as possible, offering consumers ‘current’ designs at low prices. This industry model not only leads problems of overconsumption, but also negatively impacts the planet and underpaid workers in underdeveloped countries.
The problem is, the harmful effects of ‘fast fashion’ barely cross our minds when we’re walking past a ‘70% off’ plastered on a store window with a funky new tee on the mannequin. Like any relationship, hidden agendas and a lack of honesty are always a bad sign…
Relationship 1: INFATUATED
I simply can’t resist you!
Trendy items for cheap prices? Yes, please! If this describes your relationship with fashion, you probably fall in the ‘infatuated’ category. Trendiness and affordability are most important to you and if you only wear a piece once, you don’t really mind. It was cheap, right? Okay, we get you. We like cute pieces too, but how sustainable is this relationship? Who’s paying the price for that item if you’re not?
Our relationship tip: We challenge you to wear your ‘fast fashion’ items as long as possible! Hold on to them. If you buy something on impulse that you’ll never wear again, why not try passing it on to a friend? These items might seem disposable to you with those cheap price tags, but consider that they’ve gone on a long journey before they hit store shelves, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and others. Respect your garments! Why not try prolonging their life? When it breaks, get it repaired! You’ll save money and might even get to build a meaningful relationship with your wardrobe.
Relationship 2: IT’S COMPLICATED
I need space.
You’ve noticed some red flags in your relationship with ‘fast fashion’ and you’re starting to consider some alternatives. You know that you get triggered by luring windows with the latest trends and discounted prices, but you’re starting to realize that the excitement falls flat. You’re on the right track to slowing down your fashion and only look for items that cause you long-term happiness.
Our relationship tip: Try to avoid those tempting windows and only go shopping when you actually need something. How about keeping a wish list? When you think you might want an item, write the details down and think about it for a while rather than pulling out your wallet. Have you discovered the world of sustainable fashion brands yet? We think you’ll be inspired by the scope of brands who keep transparency and longevity at the heart of their practice. We’ve even got a small list of fair fashion web-shops that we think you’ll adore:
The Green Labels: Sustainable fashion labels that do not compromise style over ethics
Everlane: Fair modern essentials
Reformation: Sustainable women’s clothing and accessories
Kings Of Indigo: Clothing made with a conscience
Madewell: For denim lovers
Veja: Sneakers made with organic materials
Cossac: Committed to slow fashion and sustainable design
Lena the Fashion Library: Borrowing fashion library in Amsterdam where you can rent and return beautiful vintage and sustainable fashion items with a membership.
Tip 2, try to swap clothes with friends when you feel like wearing something new. Swapping will give you the same feeling as buying a new item, but your wallet and the planet won’t suffer from it.
RELATIONSHIP 3: WE’RE TAKING A BREAK
You’re not being transparent with me.
Everyone knows, an honest relationship is a good relationship. When it comes to fashion, if crucial information about how or where items are being made is being concealed, how can you truly love your wardrobe? It’s a bit like having a partner who’s hiding something. Are the brands your buying acting shady? How much information do they disclose about their supply chain policies and practices? Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire and you’ve decided it’s time for a break.
So… is there a new apple of your eye? Absolutely! It’s called ‘fair fashion’ and you’re all about it! You’ve met some brands that you truly love that offer quality over quantity. Good for you!
Our relationship tip: Find brands that support the causes you really care about. For example, some brands focus on water reduction or avoid chemicals in the process of making clothes, some actively empower women, others offer full transparency of their supply chain. The internet is your best friend, get inspired!
RELATIONSHIP 4: IT’S OVER
Our values just don’t align.
You’ve finally called the quits and are so done with ‘fast fashion’. When you buy something, you make sure it’s a long lasting love affair: quality over quantity. You love finding sustainable stores that match your values or finding treasures shopping vintage. You’re even spreading the word about ending your toxic relationship and spilling all the juicy details too. You want people to know that both people and the environment suffer as a result of the way ‘fast fashion’ is made, sourced and consumed. The secrets out!
Our relationship tip: You go Glen Coco! Looks like you and your wardrobe have a loving relationship and your fling with ‘fast fashion’ is a thing of the past. Your break-up is helping to demand radical, revolutionary change in the fashion industry, one that conserves and restores our environment and gives people, especially women, a voice. We’re so proud that you’re moving on.
Hidden agendas and a lack of honesty? A bad sign. In every relationship.
O My Bag