Fast fashion has been on the rise for the past two decades. As the fashion industry is constantly seeking new manufacturing miracle solutions to replace ongoing trends, this is putting an additional strain on the supply chain, the overall workforce, the fashion industry’s quality, and ultimately, the environment.Slow Fashion
Slow fashion is rapidly growing in popularity as a sustainable alternative to fast fashion because of the ongoing battle for higher sustainability. Many are still skeptical that the industry will agree to build a conscious and sustainable future for us all, as the ongoing dispute continues.
This begs the question: how can fast fashion be distinguished from slow fashion? Or, how does slow fashion fare better than fast fashion as a viable option?
Fast Fashion: A Look At The Industry
In fast fashion, clothes are reproduced in large numbers at less expensive prices than they are in a branded store. Two approaches are used in fast-fashion production: quick response manufacturing, which helps meet demand for trendy apparel, and dynamic assortment, which refers to the distribution of fast-fashion pieces never stopping or ceasing.
Fast fashion as a process is nothing less than damaging, despite its success and trust from numerous consumers. As it turns out, carbon emissions worldwide result from this never-ending cycle.
Besides using less desirable agricultural methods, fast fashion is also time-based. Fabrics made from artificial fibers are usually impossible to dispose of – since they are made mostly from synthetic fibers that do not break down and are essentially designed for fast fashion. Fast fashion is also plagued by noxious chemicals and synthetic fabrics. Sadly, fast fashion has contributed to polluting waterways, ruining the environment, and damaging it faster than it can recover from the polluting effects of dyes and chemicals.
Overproduction in fast fashion is accompanied by unsustainable practices that have a variety of detrimental effects on its workforce. A major problem is that fast fashion designers and creators are often underpaid while they are overworked. Additionally, they meet broad deadlines within a tight timeframe, exceeding unreasonable circumstances. Sometimes fast fashion workers work more than 16 hours a day.
Innumerable fast fashion companies are focused on delivering trendy outfits worldwide, as soon as possible. Because of this, the process is somewhat insignificant, since it lacks any real essence or dedication. The wearer usually loses interest in these clothes after a short time, since they are neither of high quality nor durable. It is interesting, though, that consumers are still able to purchase even bigger thanks to that, rather than being disappointed.
As well as nylon and polyester, viscose has become a common peril to the industry. In a study by Canopy, approximately 33% of the viscose used in clothing is sourced from protected or ancient forests, with more than 70% of the rest eventually being thrown away. Furthermore, the EPA notes that Americans typically dispose of 80 pounds of clothing each year, which is disposed of in landfills, further illustrating fast fashion’s detrimental effect.Slow Fashion
Slow Fashion: What it Promises
The fall of fast fashion and its implications demands action of awareness. However, the holistic solution might be a bit simpler than you thought. As lazily as it sounds, slow fashion is one of the best paths to reducing the many environmental and social risks currently destabilizing the clothing industry.
In the world of slow fashion, there is an antithesis to fast fashion. Fabrics grown for slow fashion are purposefully designed to last and are more importantly, sustainably grown. The process results in manufacturers abandoning all chemicals and remaining environmentally harmful toxins. Furthermore, wastewater disposal and water pollution concerns are also dismissed through the process.
Each piece of clothing is given special attention in slow fashion. In addition, factory and farm workers are treated far better, and this is acknowledged across the board. Taking the time to work slowly means that employees are provided with proper working conditions, receive their rightful wages, and spend their working hours as needed.
Slow fashion is far from ethical or sustainable, especially in terms of quality, while fast fashion is on a collision course with it. The clothing produced through slow fashion should last for years and even a lifetime. Slow fashion may appear to be more expensive than its rival, but it still represents an extremely effective way to save money over time. As a result of investing in garments that last through the winter, spring, summer, and fall, you won’t have to replace your wardrobe every few months.
The Slow Fashion Movement
Slow fashion is becoming more popular these days, and many companies are making serious efforts to do so. Mara Hoffman, for instance, makes her swimsuits out of recycled plastic and waste polyester fiber, REPREVE and ECONYL.
Besides hemp, Mara Hoffman also designs clothing made of alpaca wool, fibrous plant-based materials, linen, and organic cotton. Furthermore, the brand adheres to international environmental and human rights criteria in terms of packaging, branding, and shipping its products.
Making the Right Decision
Both consumers and businessmen can put things into perspective by observing the main differences between fast and slow fashion. All of these activities are part of slow fashion, including design, manufacturing, packaging, and purchasing.Slow Fashion
Every step in the ‘making’ process is given close attention, and a positive impact is felt in every corner of the world. The TIPA initiative offers fashion industry stakeholders the opportunity to switch to more sustainable packaging by adopting fully customizable and sustainable packaging.
Transparent and durable, compostable packaging has the same features as conventional plastics while having the same circular lifecycle as organic waste.
There is irreparable damage being done by fast fashion, not only due to its violations of basic human rights but also due to the mass of waste generated by garment production and the natural resources sacrificed. We’re talking about the destruction of valuable forests, thriving lands turned into junkyards, and the toxic air we consume.
Nevertheless, the power of people demanding change today is quite impressive. Slow fashion will finally arrive in style when consumers break loose from the chains of fast fashion and open the gates to slow fashion!