WHAT IS FAST FASHION?
• Fast fashion is ‘fast’ in a number of senses: the changes in fashion are fast, the rate of production is fast; the customer’s decision to purchase is fast; delivery is fast; and garments are worn fast – usually only a few times before being discarded.
• At its heart, the fast fashion business model relies on consumers endlessly buying more clothes. Brands tempt consumers by offering ultra-cheap garments (for example, Missguided’s £1 bikini) and ever-changing new ranges.
- ETHICALCONSUMER, OCTOBER 2021
INSIDE THEIR MARKETING STRATEGY
• Marketing is focused on mostly women in “GEN Z” - those born in the late 1990s.
• Retailers utilize the power of social media and alongside smart influencer strategies to get their latest trends to market. With commission focused user generated content from video reviews across Tiktok & Youtube, they use the power of recommendations from trusted influencers to sell their product.
• With leading user experience and multi channel presence, followers are clicks away from purchasing the latest trends.
BUT WHY IS FAST FASHION BAD?
• Clothing manufacturing is responsible for over 10% of the worlds carbon emissions. Ranking clothing emissions higher than those from air travel.
• When factoring in the entire lifecycle of a garment, from manufacturing to transportation to, ultimately, ending up in landfill, in total, 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions are released by the fashion industry every year.
“Carbon emissions [from fashion] are at the heart of global warming, meaning every tonne of CO2 released into the atmosphere is making our planet increasingly unlivable.”
“Fashion is among the top industries with the highest water consumption—around 79 billion cubic meters each year. A single shirt requires as much as 2,720 liters of water, and around 3,781 liters for a pair of jeans."
“[Fast Fashion Retailers use] materials that are also known to contain high levels of hazardous chemicals, such as lead, perfluoroalkyl (PFA), and phthalates. They are hazardous to people’s health and cause severe damage when released into the environment.”
• Fast Fashion retailers trend cycle is extremely short.
• By the time a new order arrives at a customers door, Fast Fashion is already marketing microtrends through their social channels, pushing consumers onto the next short term fashion.
• This is powering the overconsumption of clothing, resulting in: increased environmental impacts & textile waste.
“The fast fashion industry has long been complicit in a system that pays workers below subsistence in order to maximise profits. This business model, which focuses on selling mountains of clothing at unsustainable costs, has yielded less and less profit to those who directly create them.
Working conditions are poor, unhygienic and unsafe since a large number of sweatshops are located in poor nations with weak labour laws and little government control; as a result, if workers attempt to challenge their rights or work conditions, they risk losing their jobs. Workers in the garment industry are required to put in 14 to 16 hours per day, seven days a week."
“Retailers churn out staggering numbers of dirt cheap, disposable fashion items. Because the clothes are so cheap, most returns probably end up in landfills, since it would cost more to put them back in circulation.”
Our 7 point SUSTAINABLE SHOPPER checklist:
1. Buy Vintage or Preloved
2. Rent Clothing
3. If buying new - buy from sustainable quality brands
4. Conscious Buying - understand the what & why of clothes you are buying
5. Longevity - choose clothing that can last
6. Participate in the circular economy - sell your old stuff on Ebay / Depop, recycle clothing with approved recyclers
7. DON'T SHOP FAST FASHION!
AFFORDABLE PLACES TO SHOP SUSTAINABLY IN THE UK