How did fast fashion get so fast, and how can we slow down?

How did fast fashion get so fast, and how can we slow down?

For most of you reading, you’re under the age of 50. If you’ve bought clothes in the past decade, odds are that at least one item came from a fast fashion brand. In the late 2000s, the fashion world underwent a major shift, into what has become known as “Fast Fashion”. Let’s be clear, it’s not just fashion that got fast - people want fast food, fast entertainment, fast everything. This industry change falls in line with globalization and the logistical efficiency of the 21st century. The price of an article of clothing today - along with the cost of material, labor, and supply chain logistics required for its creation - is cheap, but it’s likely not made to last.

 The rise of influencer culture and marketing has opened up a niche for fast fashion brands, specifically online retailers, to flourish. Even more toxic, wearing the same outfit twice then starts to seem like a bad thing, which should be avoided at all costs, at least online. 

Faster doesn’t mean better.

The rate at which we’re producing apparel is not sustainable for the environment. What’s scary is there is no official research that fully understands fashion’s environmental impact, we know the industry is one of the world’s most resource-intensive industries. The production of polyester textiles alone emits about 706 million tons of greenhouse gases a year. These types of fibers are difficult to recycle — 85% of them end up in landfills, where they can take up to 200 years to biodegrade.

The fashion industry is changing. But is it changing fast enough? Consumers and brands have expressed interest in sustainable, green clothing, and innovative textile technologies have risen to meet this demand. Now that sustainability is at the forefront of many people’s minds, it’s easier than ever to sniff out an inauthentic pledge. As shoppers and as a brand, we know it’s now more important than ever to help shift our community mindset.

 Changing our mindset

The power of change lies within our minds. When trying to make a move away from the instant gratification of fast fashion, it can help to switch the narrative in your head from one where, if you’re not constantly buying new items you feel like you’re missing out, to one where you know that you treat yourself to the very best that you can afford. It might mean that you can only purchase something once a month, or once every couple of months as opposed to mindlessly shopping and leaving items unworn in your wardrobe.

Remember Marie Kondo helped us declutter our lives? We recommend going through your wardrobe and noticing what you've already got that adds to the quality of your life. You might find that oftentimes we have bought things that aren’t high quality, and don’t even feel comfortable to wear.

Remembering this when you’re browsing for your new items can help you make more sustainable choices when it comes to shopping. By reading this blog, you’re on the right track toward your next conscious-living choice. Thank you for supporting TWAN as we help to slow down fashion.