First, I think we have to know what Fast Fashion is.
Fast Fashion is essentially the mall industry of H&M, Forever 21, Zara, TopShop, and any other mass-produced mall brand catered to teens and twenty-somethings.
Fast Fashion is also known as the throwaway industry. The cheap industry. The “Ugh, it’s already ripped!” industry. It is fundamentally the equivalent of the Buzzfeed or Huffington Post headline news article. Think of it like Clothing Clickbait.
You buy the clothing. (You click it). You wear it once. (You read it once). You throw it away after one wash because it ripped in the washer or in your exotic-free hipster adventurous lifestyle. (You throw the Buzzfeed thought away in your Facebook Newsfeed to forget about it into the Timeline abyss).
They all want you to come back for more.
But it’s fundamentally unsustainable. Fast fashion has to be one of the most toxic industries of today’s world. And it is unfortunate, because most of its supporters who visually boast and give free marketing to these brands on H&M are women, who do not employ many critical thinking techniques in their clothing or lifestyle purchases anything beyond aesthetics and they own roughly half a thousand dollars of unused clothing. Actually, I would say not many people apply critical thinking concepts to clothing. The basic necessities are hardly touched compared to the highly developed academic industries like AI, philosophy, religion. But chances are those T-shirts you wear to promote your ideological team or buy the coffee at the coffee shop to think about those topics are doing just as much harm as not speaking out on your philosophical concerns.
Fast fashion contributes to global warming, environmental pollution, and human rights violations. And it goes supported with the lack of education and brain power to redirect thinking towards more sustainable but aesthetic options. I’ve blogged about outfits that can look just as modern and relevant with secondhand clothes. Every one of my outfits I post on Instagram (@ladonnadavinci) is also always secondhand or bought from a local boutique (more on that concept in another post, and more on how to budget on another post). Participating in these secondhand concepts and thinking about clothing choices is called Slow Fashion. And it’s covered here, here, and here.
Fast Fashion is maybe the Linda Sarsour of clothing activism. Or Donald Trump for you Liberals. Or Obama for you Conservatives. Or Reza Aslan for you human rights activists and reformed Muslims and religious folks.
So, you see why I don’t want Fast Fashion to be in charge. Don’t buy from them. Instead, buy secondhand clothing. You can buy secondhand designer (BCBG and Armani), secondhand Target, Hell, buy secondhand Fast Fashion. There is a ton of waste being donated to that industry and it’s out of control. The waste Fast Fashion creates is out of control. And our mindset when we think of clothing is out of control. I’m calling for people to do more research on clothing brands. Avoid spending on these clothes for superficial reasons, but make your purchases superficially pleasing in your own way.
We all want to look beautiful (well, most of us), but we do not have to sacrifice planetary resources to do it.