What is fast fashion? This term was developed from clothing produced by popular brands such as SheIn, Romwe, Missguided, and Forever21. The definition of fast fashion is inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. This contemporary concept allows brands to create items similar to designs seen on the runway, develop the product quickly by using cheaper fabrics, and mass produce them for the public’s consumption.
On the contrary, to counteract fast fashion, many brands are moving toward sustainability and ethically made products. This movement, which can be gathered from the name alone, is making moves toward a more environmentally friendly fashion industry – slow fashion. There are many well-known brands that have decided to contribute to slow fashion and ultimately create well-made products for consumers.
H&M released information to the public via Instagram on April 10, 2019 stating that in 2020 all of their cotton would be sustainably sourced. H&M created a conscious line of their clothes a few years ago that contained only a few items with sustainably sourced cotton. It is a major step for this vastly popular brand to make a conscious effort to create the best quality products.
A well-known luxury brand that has been a part of the slow fashion movement since the beginning is Stella McCartney. Her namesake brand was built on the decision to not sacrifice morals to be successful in the modern fashion world. McCartney focuses on creating clothing that is sustainably sourced, fur-free, and she uses her brand to support various charities focused on positively impacting the environment.
One contributing factor to what attracts consumers to fast fashion brands is how inexpensive the products are. If brands use cheaper fabric and a faster design fulfillment process, they can produce a large number of products in a short amount of time. The negative to this is those products are designed to tear, fade, and/or shrink, which prompts consumers to buy more.
What some may not realize is there are sustainable brands out there that create great products at reasonable prices. Here is a list of a few of those brands:
There are other ways to support the slow fashion movement aside from shopping ethical brands. Secondhand or thrift shipping, repurposing old items, shopping vintage, or creating a capsule wardrobe are just a few ways to contribute without spending an excessive amount of money. Creating a sustainable fashion industry is not a task that can be executed overnight. It will take time and conscious effort from designers and consumers.
The fashion industry is changing, and it seems green is the new black.