Style with a Smaller Footprint

Remember the days when your mother fixed your woolen tights and your little black dress outlived you? Clothes have become disposable and fast fashion has taken over the fashion industry. It has become a selling point for businesses such as Primark with their campaigns boasting that looks go from catwalk to High Street in as little as 6 days.

Fast fashion has become an addiction and a fuel too consumer greed; the leading magazines that publish looks before they are released are therefore whetting our appetites that have fueled this impatience. To be seen wearing the same dress or jacket more than once has become a faux-pas in fashion. My wardrobe is ten times what my mother had, I have ten little black dresses when she had one timeless one; this is a sign that we are living in excess.

In fast fashion it is not about speed, it is based on greed, following the trend of “Have it now” that the millennium has brought us. It is all about making money and selling more than your competitor in a shorter period of time. This speed has seen a rise in exploitation during production with workers being paid less than minimum wage and working conditions lowered to save costs, showing us that fast fashion has a huge consequence for the people behind the scenes. For too long society has forgotten about quality and lost its appreciation for well-made garments.

But it doesn’t have to be this way and the industry is beginning to recognise this. Slow Fashion is about taking more care throughout production and consumption; it is about a better quality of living for all involved.

It is time we started to take a different approach to fashion and consider the repercussions of fast living. Slow fashion will benefit the industry long-term and will enable businesses to build stronger relationships and stop attempting to meet requests that are impossible. The consumer will have to respect that their fashion will cost more but the change will prove to be worth everything.

Many brands have started to make the move away from fast fashion: for example Levi’s have launched their 501 scheme, which collaborates with a company called Reformation, which enables the customer to come in and have their old Levi jeans refitted and repaired, therefore instilling the a love for our old jeans once again.

Clothing has become “Haute-Couture for the masses” and society is beginning to notice that this need for everything is ruining our appreciation for what really matters. It is time to make a difference and put these ideas into practice.

By Olivia Hamilton

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