I have put off writing this blog post for a while now because I was worried that it will come across as hypocritical for a fashion blogger to do a blog post about the effects of fast fashion as bloggers and influencers are what fuels the fast-fashion world. I am also aware that I will have to think twice about any brands and products that I chose to promote on my blog from now and practice what I preach. I have always said I want to be honest with my readers, and I’m not going to say that from this day on I will never shop from a fast-fashion brand ever again because that’s just simply impossible but what I can say is that from today I will make a conscious effort into limiting the number of clothes I buy, try buying from sustainable brands where possible, look where my clothes come from, re-sell or donate my old clothes and also buy second-hand clothes where possible. Once you finish reading this blog post I really hope that you will do the same.
The effects of fast fashion is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while now, and something I wanted to look into. Honestly, I was not prepared for the things that I was about to discover while doing the research for this blog post. It’s shocking how we as the consumers and society close a blind eye on how much it takes to produce fast fashion items and don’t question how a dress could possibly cost £5 as long as we get our bargain. We keep supporting these huge companies which make billions of profits each year but only pay as little as $3 a day to their factory workers, how we buy into this ‘treat yourself’ mentality or ‘buy now & pay later’, the problem is bigger than we could ever imagine. And we are all part of it.
Some might say that the fact that a fashion blogger is writing about fast fashion is ironic since it’s fashion bloggers and influencers who power the fast-fashion business by promoting fast-fashion brands and collaborating with them. Let’s be honest; everyone wants a piece of the pie when it comes to making money off fast-fashion but it’s time to do better as we the bloggers and influencers hold the responsibility of ‘influencing’ people in a positive way and informing people about issues like this and the more bloggers talk about what effects fast fashion has on the environment and the conditions that people work in to make those clothes the bigger change we can make and the more people will become conscious and stop before they make another reckless purchase. There are millions of other ways to treat yourself after a hard day other than making another ASOS order of things you don’t actually need and wearing an outfit once and throwing it away is not cute but wasteful. It’s time to wake up and stop being ignorant because our planet is slowly dying and now’s the time to act because soon it might be too late.
Let’s start at the beginning, what actually is fast fashion is ‘fast fashion’? Just like fast food places, it focuses on low cost and fast speed of making new styles and also the speed of delivering the products to the consumers. We are as a society are used to expecting things right away, and waiting 3-5 business days is not good enough anymore. We constantly crave new and better things which has created the demand for fast fashion. Social media and the pressure to always look our best at every waking hour is definitely a huge part of that, and what creates the need for constantly wanting new and better things.
Before shops like Missguided, PrettyLittleThing or Boohoo existed, new clothes came out in collections every season which means there was a spring/summer collection and an autumn/winter one. Unfortunately now in order for high street shops to keep up with the demand that online retailers have created, they need to drop new collections much more frequently and in some cases as frequently as weekly creating 52 collections a year, which means that in the last 20 years we went from having 2 collections a year to 52! Those online retailers which I have previously mentioned drop new styles DAILY, and while it sounds like an amazing thing at first especially if you’re are one of those people who would rather be dead than seen in the same outfit twice; it’s having a catastrophic effect on our planet.
It’s more than just a top, it’s creating demand for a industry that is ruining not only our environment, putting pressure on companies to lower their prices even lower in order to be able to compete with their competitors which in order forces the manufacturers to accept those lower prices in order not to lose business but it’s also affecting lots of people’s lives. People working in unimaginable conditions for as little as $3 per day, people working with chemicals and toxins that affect their and their children’s health, people who have lost their lives. And now ask yourself, is that top really worth it?
It starts with a small change to create a big change, something that seems like it doesn’t matter now will matter in the long run. We need to start making conscious choices about how we buy and where we buy from, instead of blindly following what we are told that we should buy. The scale of this problem is much bigger than we could ever imagine. The solution to it is actually quite simple; be a human first and a consumer second.
Hopefully now after reading this blog post you’re feeling inspired but probably also a bit overwhelmed with where to start, I hear ya. Personally, I would say that the best place to start is watching The True Cost movie (which I’ve linked below), it’s a real eye-opener and you will definitely not regret watching it.