I’m not sure whether it was my shrinking bank balance or the shrinking real estate of wardrobes in inner city London but me and Fast Fashion are not friends. It’s everywhere and as the quick the next cool thing comes off the catwalk we lose a little bit more of our own personal style.
WHAT IS FAST FASHION?
Fast fashion is ‘the machine’ of brands, designers, retailers, factories keeping up a blood curdling pace in order to meet the demand for ‘hot off the catwalk’ high street alternatives each season. This means a cycle time of 6-8 weeks for each new batch of clothing (Zara, Toyshop, Primark and H&M are all key players).
WHY IS FAST FASHION GOOD?
Fast fashion rocketed onto the scene in the 1990’s and democratised the fashion industry – no longer was it about the top designers controlling ‘taste’ and ‘style’ it meant that we didn’t need to wait months or years for catwalk trends to filter down.
WHY IS FAST FASHION BAD?
The speed at which the clothes need to be designed, manufactured and shipped means that there are often compromises made around fabric and product quality, design quality and working conditions. Fast fashion has made us lazy and frivolous – our parents and grand parents bought clothes that would last through all 4 seasons. Clothes should last, be good quality and make you feel great. I’ve come to realise that fast fashion doesn’t make me feel great.
I am a real advocate of not just wearing something because it’s cool or new. This white shirt and jacket I’ve had for over 2 years – they’re not fancy, just Topshop but I’ve been able to wear them year after year. It’s these sort of pieces in your wardrobe that you could’ve worn at any point in the last 5 decades and not looked out of place – this type of fashion is timeless and for me fast fashion just isn’t.
HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT FAST FASHION?
The same way I feel about fast food. I regret it after but sometimes I just can’t stop myself. I am getting better at stepping away from the fad ‘trend’ pieces and focussing more on the classic cuts, textures and styles. But sometimes for my bank balance it can’t handle anything except fast fashion prices. For me there’s a clear distinction between timeless pieces… and everything else.
WHAT IS THE BEST BALANCE BETWEEN FAST & LASTING FASHION?
For me the best balance is to focus away from ‘trend led’ and fad pieces and buy the best quality I can afford. I try to balance out the fast fashion for sustainable brands like Veja which focusses on the ecological impacts and ethical sourcing.