What is fast fashion and why should you avoid it?

Why should we stay away from fast fashion?

New trends in fashion appear almost every day, but fast fashion has taken things to a whole new level. Fast fashion is the term given to very affordable clothing produced to fit  the latest trends. Fast fashion retailers stock their stores with new clothing collections several times a year and update them frequently to keep up with the latest trends.

In this article, we will explore what fast fashion is, why it is bad for workers and the environment, and what alternatives are better for your wallet and your consciousness.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s actually a term used to describe the growing demand for cheap disposable clothing, constantly updated to reflect the latest trends. These cheap garments are produced according to unsustainable practices and are often made from synthetic materials and poor quality fabrics. Fast fashion retailers frequently update their stores with new clothing collections to keep up with the latest trends.


What is even more worrying is that the lifespan of these items is often shorter than the time it takes for them to be produced, created and shipped to stores around the world. This is largely due to the fact that quality is not a priority for fast fashion retailers. The goal is to produce clothing at the lowest possible cost, regardless of the lifespan of the items.

Why is fast fashion so bad?

One of the main reasons why fast fashion is so bad is that clothing is made from low quality materials and is often produced in places where workers are exploited . The environmental impact of fast fashion is considerable and consists of a number of different factors. First, the production process requires a massive amount of resources and energy, as well as non-renewable natural resources such as fossil fuels. Many fast fashion brands are sourcing materials from areas near the equator, such as Asia, to take advantage of cheap labour and lack of regulation. This has the effect of polluting local water sources. The polluting effects of fast fashion go even further, as studies indicate that 10% of all greenhouse gases come from the fashion industry. The production of synthetic fabrics and dyes also pollutes waterways and soils, causing irreparable damage to marine life.

Avoid fast fashion brands

It is quite simple, the first way not to contribute to this market of overconsumption of poor quality products is not to buy them. The big brands such as Zara, H&M and companies offer beautiful clothes at very attractive prices. However, tell yourself that what you save in fees is paid by someone else: underpaid workers working in difficult conditions, or the environment. Avoiding buying low-quality clothing helps make the model of fast fashion disappear.


Buy better quality clothing

Better quality clothing may cost more, but you’re paying for a piece that won’t have to be replaced anytime soon, so save at the end of the day. Invest in timeless pieces that you can keep for years to come. Trends change, but quality will always remain. By buying clothes made of better quality fabrics, better cut and better assembled, you limit the amount of pieces that take the direction of the dump, in addition to having a great style.

Buy in thrift stores

Another good way to buy better quality items without going broke is to visit the thrift stores in your neighbourhood. There are many shops that sell slightly used items at attractive prices. Some thrift stores even sell brand new items that have not been opened. Buying used clothes is a good way to save money while buying better quality items. It’s also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.


Buy from eco friendly brands

If you want to stay away from fast fashion, try to find brands that care about the well-being of the environment and workers. These ethical and ecological brands ensure transparency throughout the supply and production chain, in addition to adequately remunerating workers and avoiding environmentally harmful practices. In addition, by choosing local companies, you further reduce the carbon footprint by limiting transportation. 


Quebec eco-responsible clothing brands such as Message Factory, for example, use high-quality organic and recycled materials to maximize comfort and durability. More than 75% of their fabrics are knitted and dyed locally, ensuring they are safe and have not affected the health of those involved in the manufacturing process.


Avoid fast fashion at all costs

Fast fashion may be cheap, but it is bad for the environment, for the well-being of workers and for your wallet. The most responsible way to shop is to buy better quality items from brands that care about their impact on the environment, or buy second hand. By making these thoughtful purchases, you will spend less money and wear clothes that are better for the environment.

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