What is "fast-fashion"?

Fast fashion is a term coined for fashion that is, well, fast. Everything from the production, to the consumption, to the discarding is fast. Think about your big box stores – Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx (yes, even those overstock stores) – why is the clothing so cheap? If you go to Etsy or a local market and buy a handmade sweater, I guarantee it will cost you more than $9.99. You pay a higher price for “slow” fashion (AKA pieces made with careful consideration for materials and all those involved), because it takes time to create. 

The problem with fast fashion isn’t necessarily the fact that the items are cheaper, it’s the impact that the price of those items has on all who are involved in their production. It’s the overworked and underpaid workers in overcrowded and under-maintained facilities (who don’t receive a fair wage, much less a living wage), and the sheer amount of clothes trashed by consumers who only wore the item once. 


Photo by Jason Mayne / People Dispatch Twitter


The Solution

I think we’re all guilty of playing a part in the fast-fashion industry. I’ve spent my entire life buying clothes from brands that are unethical and unsustainable. The majority of the world’s population can probably say the same. So, how do we fix the problem? How do we, as individuals, make a difference? 

Well, we shop sustainably! This means researching companies, looking into their production and manufacturing processes, and making sure they’re following ethical practices. Now, the biggest issue people have when shopping with many of these sustainable brands is price. Yes, the price of sustainability is higher than that of convenience…and rightfully so. But what if you can’t afford these shops? How can you shop ethically and sustainably on a budget?

The short answer – you can’t. KIDDING! Of course you can. And the answer may be more obvious than you expect: BUYING SECONDHAND.

When you shop secondhand, you’re not creating more demand for the unsustainable brands. You’re not feeding into the fast-fashion machine that is destroying the planet. You are recycling. You are saving another graphic tee from ending up in a landfill. And if you still love the style of your favorite fast-fashion store, then buy the brand secondhand! It’s sustainable, it’s eco-friendly…


 …and the best part?

 It’s affordable.


Let’s kick fast-fashion in the butt one thrift store at a time. 


Image source: