The problem with Fast Fashion
After watching a few documentaries and searching the terms "Fast Fashion," I realized how bad the problem is in the Fashion Industry. In this post, I want to focus on the alternatives rather then keep arguing how bad it is that we are consuming these types of clothes.
Fast Fashion is terrible not only for the environment, but for your wallets, and the industry in general.
My first contact with Fast Fashion was in 2003. In the mall called Plaza las Americas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I was in love with Zara. The clothes were extremely fashionable and the price was not so bad. Back then, you can buy a nice top for $20.00, simple pants for $35.00, and a jacket under $65.
Today I don't know what their prices are for sure: last time I heard, their prices are still about the same.
How they can afford these prices? Simple: paying pennies for labor. Countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, and China are affected with the production of the raw material and assembling of these garments. We never produce those pieces here (USA).
With 52 "micro seasons" each year, it is impossible to keep up with the demand of the environment. The wasted water, raw material, and labor damages all involved with the clothes, including the workers, environment, and even the consumers. This is a real issue for our generation that we need to solve.
Companies like H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and Mango are the biggest offenders in this trending topic. For example, Forever 21 has been involved with lawsuits with many fashion retailers over alleged violations of their intellectual property rights.
This is a real problem, not only for the fashion designer, but for the industry and the environment. The environmental problem is the major issue due to the amount of water, raw material and energy used for producing these cheap and low quality garments.
My suggestion would be:
1.-Recycle the garment: I do use all my clothes to the max, meaning I save some garments for backyard work, painting, or any type of work that I know the clothes will be damaged by some liquid /paint /dirt.
2.- Donate : donate all the clothes that you are not using or you don't like, but still can be used by other people. My rule is simple: I donate clothes that I would like to receive from another person. There are a lot people in need of clothes, especially winter garments.
3.- Replace technique: Some people state in order to buy new clothes, they need to replace one garment; meaning if your jeans are old and done for good, only in that moment you are able to replace the jean with a new one of equal or higher quality. This concept is extremely good because you need to have a real need in order to buy new clothes.
4.- Minimalist : This new trend is getting a lot attention in my generation, and lately is getting in my head. It is basically owning the pieces that you need, make you happy, and have a purpose in your life. I read a couple books about it and some people have their whole closet consist of only 33 pieces for all occasions.
5.- Buy from Etsy, vintage store, thrift, and local designers: This is a real way to confront the issue. You will get a better quality piece of garment made by your local tailor, or you can get vintage pieces for a great price. The thrift store always provide this extra excitement of finding the next treasure.
I don't have anything personally against those companies. I do enjoy their clothes, but the price is too high ( Economic and environmental) for the consumer and the industry in general.