“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are.” – Gianni Versace
The term ‘Fast Fashion‘ has been trending in the sustainability world for quite some time now.
The luxury brands that we once used to see celebrities and socialities adorning have now widely become available in the form of knock-offs. Fast, fast companies take these designs, slightly tweak them and send them across the high street or on our mobile phone screens within no time. However, the most significant difference is that luxury brands have high quality, whereas fast fashion brands produce the same at a much lower quality and are pretty much designed to be disposable so that we buy more. And more. Without getting tired.
Before diving deep into this black hole, we all need to slow down slightly and learn how to avoid fast fashion at the earliest. But first, ask yourself these nine quick questions before opting for one.
1. “Why Am I Even Here?”
“Do I really need something, or am I just having a look?” ask yourself. If the answer is that you’re merely looking, you should probably know what brought you there in the first place. You’re probably here because you’re dissatisfied, anxious, bored, or just want to pass the time on your lunch break! However, the next time you feel like browsing Forever 21 or Adidas, try to understand what you’re really feeling and then consider what you can do to actually address the problem ( get organic clothing) instead of getting into a fast fashion purchase.
2. “What Is It Made Out Of?
Not all materials are produced in the same way thus, bear in mind that the care label tag is as important as the price tag. The material used to make a piece of clothing reveals a lot about its quality and manufacturing process. Over 60% of clothing is produced from petroleum-based plant fibers, which is why plastic is so strongly associated with the fast fashion business. These clothing are a no-no since they are non-biodegradable, can’t be recycled, and are destined for landfills! So always ask this question to understand your purchase and opt for natural fibers like cotton, Fairtrade, and Organic certifications, which showcase fair practices only.
3. “Do I Already Have Something That Is Exactly Like This?”
We all have certain co-ords that we can’t get enough of or everyday basics that we absolutely love. However, if you’re opting for fast fashion because you already own something similar, you probably don’t need two (or ten) of them. It’s perfectly acceptable to buy fast fashion since most of your collection’s ripped or stained. However, if you’re only interested in fast fashion to add to your collections, you can definitely skip it. Clothes aren’t Pokémo, so you don’t have to catch all of them.
4. “Do I Like It Or Am I Just Paying For The Brand?”
Do not ever pay just for namesake or the brand sake.
Fast fashion has become the norm worldwide since H&M and Target began collaborating with designers a decade ago. It’s difficult to believe, but fast fashion is genuinely thrilling! These items are becoming more accessible and affordable thanks to the trends. However, these pieces are of far lower quality than the designer pieces, and they are easily identifiable. Oops! So, if you truly adore a designer, why not save up for it and dive straight in, rather than opting for something low-quality and compromising not just your fashion piece but also the environment by paying a higher price?
5. “Who Made This Piece?”
“Who made my clothes?” is a question that should never be disregarded or refused to answer. A simple question-and-answer round with yourself or your fast fashion piece seller is good to all. However, a relatively harmless question carries a lot of weight. Remember to choose a garment that adheres to ethical standards, is fair-trade, and treats its workers fairly. There should be no hidden faces in the fashion industry, and if there are, you should think twice about opting for fast fashion. (As you should always do.)
6. “Is The Price Asked Fair?”
Don’t be stuck in the fashion trap. Don’t be that person who goes bananas over a $5 tee! While a $10 t-shirt may be the new normal, consider whether the price is reasonable for that particular tee. The price determines the complete manufacturing and production process. The biggest issue is that there is very little profit left for people at the bottom of the chain by the end of the supply chain. By repeatedly asking yourself if the price is fair throughout a fast fashion clothing purchase, you can avoid purchasing an unnecessary item of clothing and learn to understand a garment’s genuine value.
7. ” Is This Brand Transparent?”
Browse your favorite brand’s website and products in detail. You’d discover a lot about how open they are about their procedures, their specifications as to where their garments are created, whether or not they provide factory information, and if their supply chain is well-documented. Don’t be afraid to ask them straight if you still have questions. Fast fashion might lead you down a path where you’ll never be satisfied no matter how much you spend, but knowing the answers to questions like fabric quality, labor conditions, and environmental impact is important. If they are hesitant to answer most of your questions, it is a sign that you should look elsewhere!
8. “Do I Actually Require This?”
Not all worries about sustainability are at the forefront of the product’s or its manufacturers. Many of them are even concerned with us and our decisions as consumers. Fast fashion prioritizes wants over needs, and it is up to us, the consumers, to change this “new normal.” Fashion has always been both addictive and therapeutic, but if it’s the seventh pair of jeans or the fifth pair of shoes, we must reconsider the consequences of our buying habits. Take time to rethink your purchase and ask yourself, “Do I Really Need This?”
9. “Will This Item Last More Than 20 Wears?”
Whether it’s about a trend or quality, longevity is the key to your conscious wardrobe. (not literally.) Before every purchase, make sure if it can last for over 20 wears or more; this probably can answer your other queries as well. Also, always check the fabric quality and the process that made it to you now wearing it. It is a green signal if you think it can last past this season and a little more beyond that, go for it.
Above all, always opt for natural and organic fibers such as linen, organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo. Despite having their own drawbacks, they are all significantly superior and more environmentally friendly.
Being a more conscious consumer of fast fashion does not mean you have to go from zero to 100 or chuck out an entire wardrobe. Obviously, that is far more unsustainable. Do not forget to bring more consciousness and mindfulness to every fast fashion purchase and purchase in general.