Sustainability has become one of the latest buzzwords being by companies from industries all over the world. When the untied nations created its 17 sustainable development goals, that envisioned a future where the economy, the people and the environment all lived in harmony and equality. Since the release of these goals, sustainability has been viewed as the ultimate goal for the future with many governments and industries promising to become more sustainable. One industry that we see this word really being pushed is the fashion industry.
In recent years fast fashion industry has really come under fire for it unsustainable practices and human rights violations. The term fast fashion refers to brands such as Zara and H&M; these brands produce low quality garments as fast and as cheaply as possible, often at the expense of human rights and the environment. The speed that clothing is produced allows these companies to constantly be producing new looks, and to sell a wide variety of clothing for cheap. The point of the fast fashion industry is quantity over quality; clothing that was not meant to be long lasting so that consumers would continually coming back for more. For many years fast fashion continued to operate under this business model very successfully. With the release of the 2015 film True cost and increased media coverage showing the shocking and inhumane conditions of the factories. Although there is a lot of media coverage out there that villainize fast fashion industry, it continues to be hugely popular and is expected to continue to grow world-wide.
So knowing all that we know, why do we continue to consume fast fashion at such an alarming rate. Do people just not care enough? Or are people just overwhelmed by trying to make environmentally conscious choices? Social media platforms like Pinterest and other fashion influencers encourage people to continue to buy from these brands by giving outfit inspiration and linking viewers right to the company websites. This gives consumers the opportunity to find entire outfits right at their fingertips at an affordable price. Another obstacle faced by consumers is being the difficulty in trying to figure out which brands are sustainable or not. For many brands it can be impossible to find anything about their environmental or human rights records. On top of that, many fast fashion brands such as H&M released “sustainable lines”, which begs the question or whether or not it’s okie to support these companies by buying their sustainable clothes or is this just supporting a companies that are knowingly practicing unsustainable production methods. Buying sustainably is becoming more popular, with many new sustainable fashion brands encouraging consumers to buy fewer clothes for more money, but the cost of these sustainable clothes can be unrealistic for many consumers. Thrift shopping is also a great alternative option, but it is a time consuming process and thrift stores are often not size inclusive.
To simply not buying fast fashion is not so easy in the end. So, how do we do it without just giving up? Like anything in life, the key is balance and finding a middle ground. Do your research and find out what you’re capable of doing. Go thrifting when you have time, treat yourself to more expensive clothing when you can. Don’t feel guilty if you do buy one or two items from a fast fashion brands every now and then. These industries will always be here, so instead of fighting with big business, be vocal about the changes you want to see and support companies that do make these changes. Being a sustainable consumer is difficult and we are human are not always going to make the right choice. Small steps is the key and you will be amazed at the difference you can make
Truly loved the overall concept of the blog as well as the choice of topic to help put a voice out there to share to others who do not know anything about this love fast fashion!