A Quick Look at Fast Fashion and The Long-Lasting Effects



Recently, people have taken more notice of what goes into their food; not just the ingredients, but also how it’s made, who is making it and where it’s from. A similar wave of curiousness and consciousness is happening, not only food, but also with fashion–with roughly the same, previously mentioned, concerns.

With a heightened focus on the aspects beyond the clothes, one of the issues people are taking notice of is the problems with fast fashion. Zoe Gray, of Online MBA, shared the following video below which briefly touches on what fast fashion is, the issues with it and some things that are being done about it:

For a longer read on the subject, check out the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion (Penguin Portfolio, 2012) by Elizabeth Cline. Cline examines the economic, environmental and societal effects the fast fashion phenomena has had on the world as well as the craft and quality of the clothes customers buy. She also explains how consumers can help break the cycle by supporting local and small business, focusing on the custom and longer-lasting clothing and possibly taking tailoring needs into their own hands. In this video interview with The New York Times, she and the interviewer note that there is growing movement of consumer interest in transparency and ethical shopping choices, which may be good news for smaller businesses. (Check out this Ms. Magazine blog post for a review of the book.)

For a good listen, check out this NPR series, “The Fast World of Fast Fashion,” which focuses on shifts away from the usual two-season fashion calendar, a profile on the CEO of Zara, the “Made in America” label, and the conspicuous consumption of “haul” Youtube videos.

This March article from Time magazine, “Are Consumers Getting Tired of Fast Fashion?,” supports the notion that consumers want something different, while the big brands like Gap and H&M are attempting to respond to this ‘trend’ with ‘conscious’ collections. (This South China Morning Post article and this Guardian article speculate how seriously environmentally green the big companies will go with out losing their economic green.) Companies like Everlane (mentioned in the Time piece) and Zady (see here and here) are taking advantage by positioning themselves as “slower fashion” retailers focusing on transparency of the production process and quality products.

Also check out this great Open Source Fashion magazine articles on how to think of the bigger picture when designing your brand:


Reprinted with permission. 

Image credit: CC by tsaiproject.

About the author: Alex J. Tunney

Alex J. Tunney is an in-house writer and Content Coordinator for Open Source Fashion. His work has appeared in The Billfold, Lambda Literary, The Inquisitive Eater and The Ink and Code. He lives in New York.

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