The world of fast fashion holds many dark secrets. The clothes on your back could be contributing to a worldwide crisis. Fashion is one of the most profitable industries in the world, however, there is a flipside to that coin. Fast fashion is a dark secret hidden in plain sight. Nowadays the cost of textiles and speed of production is a key factor in fashion, but that means environmental impacts along with cruel working conditions and underpaid employees.
Fast fashion is a term used to describe an awfully profitable business model, which essentially takes catwalk looks or high-fashion designs and mass-produces replicas at a more affordable price. The term ‘fast fashion’ is also used to generically describe the products of the fast fashion business model.
Fast fashion can be found all the way back to the early 1990s when Zara opened in New York. To where the New York Times used the words “fast-fashion” to describe Zara’s insanely fast production model that could bring clothing from design to stores within two weeks’ time.
The demand to decrease costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are being cut in the name of profit. Fast Fashion has put a threat on both human and environmental health with the increase of water-intensive cotton, the harsh working conditions, and the release of toxic textile dyes polluting our clean water, all over the world. You may have seen posts on social media about the toxic effects of this industry as the topic is gaining more traction, however fast fashion still takes up 36 billion US dollars in the global market. This is not something that will go away fast (no pun intended) however it is important to stay mindful of what the consumer is putting their money towards, especially when it comes to the clothes on our backs.