Fast Fashion vs Slow Fashion
Fashion is a big part of our lives, from the moment we enter this world. You might be familiar with the term ‘sweatshop’. You might be less familiar with the term fast fashion; or the ethical alternative, slow fashion. Here we have listed a few points outlining these two terms to help you understand how you can make sound fashion decisions that can benefit yourself, others and the planet.
A Look at Fast Fashion
Fast fashion is the process of imitating luxury fashion trends from big name designers in a low cost manner. It enables people to access fashion cheaply but has a negative effect on the environment and those creating the garments. Fast fashion brands can produce up to eleven different collections a year, against the standard two of a fashion house.
- 1 billion garments made annually
- We have doubled the amount of clothes made annually in the past 15 years
- Set to increase 60% by 2030
- Accountable for 20% of global waste
- 92 million tons of textile waste went to landfill in 2015
- 1.7 million tons of microfibres end up in the ocean every year
- Takes hundreds of years to biodegrade
- Uses 4% of the world’s freshwater supply
- It takes 2,700 litres of water to make a singular cotton T-shirt
- Uses 10% of the world’s pesticides
- Over 3,500 highly toxic, dangerous chemicals are used within the fast fashion industry
- Chemicals include silicone waxes, petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde.
- Body heat and sweating actually accelerates the absorption of these residues into your skin.
- 40 Million garment workers
- Most working under unethical guidelines, facing daily abuse and inhumane hours/working conditions.
- 63% are women
- Since 2005, 1600 fashion factory workers have died in Bangladesh alone
A Look at Slow Fashion
The slow fashion movement recognizes the impact that clothing can make on society. Slow clothing companies practice ethical manufacturing techniques and aim to decrease the speed of production, consumption and disposal. The slow clothing movement promotes careful consideration of each clothing purchase - encouraging people to connect with clothes rather than fill their wardrobes with ‘one wear’ items. Slow fashion considers the materials used, how each garment is made and who is making it, in order to be ethical without compromising quality.
- Derived from natural textiles, such as hemp, cotton, flax, bamboo
- No chemicals used
- Minimal water usage
- Ethically produced under strict guidelines, fair wages and good conditions
- Locally produced
- Smaller numbers
- Longer lasting/higher quality pieces
- Biodegrades back into nature (circular economy)