Daniel Kramer - Fashion

Fast Fashion Vs. Slow (Luxury) Fashion

Apr 05, 2021

Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion are two terms that are absolutely present everywhere. Connected to sustainability and the issue of being socially responsible, many do not know the main and the real difference between these two terms. The biggest question and maybe a dilemma arises towards not knowing what do Slow Fashion and Fast fashion do differently that makes them different.

To dive deeper into this very popular topic, here is everything you need to know about Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion. 

What is fast fashion?

Fast Fashion is described as a business model that caters to the large masses and big markets. This means that many fashion collections are brought to the market, as quickly as possible, to satisfy the demands on the market. These collections are based on the latest trends, what is trendy in the world as well as what celebrities and trendsetters wear. With that as an inspiration, they are imitated and produced as new items, in the shortest time possible. The main characteristics that come out from the fast fashion products are low quality and low price. The items are shifted very quickly, making space for new trends and new fashion pieces.

Fast Fashion production

The fashion industry has been a target for a long time, predominantly considering its approach towards fast fashion. Namely, so much is being produced in such a short period which often comes at the expense of the environment and the workers. Due to the constantly changing trends and demands, there is also an increase in the number of collections that are produced per year. Just as a comparison, the worldwide textile production was doubled in the time between 2000 to 2014, and it is only going up since then. 

With Fast Fashion, the environmental effects are huge. Chemical fibers such as polyester, are being released back into nature. They are not only bad for the environment but because they are made from crude oil, they emit significant amounts of CO2 production, also bad for human health. Released back into nature, they contribute to water pollution. This is done when the clothes are washed in the washing machine and the small fibers are released into the oceans as micro-plastics. 

Another very big and important factor is the workforce. The workers in the fashion plants are under enormous pressure to keep up with the new orders and time frames. There are massive labor law violations as well as price competition and limited room for negotiation on the delivery time. Because of this, the production companies have no choice but to take legal risks. By doing that, they ensure themselves as staying competitive on the market, keep their customers and their factories too. 

Fast Fashion consumption

Western countries have set the trend of very low textile prices. This means that people tend to buy more, compared to the situation that they would be buying less if the prices were higher. The trends that are constantly changing impact the type of clothes that people want to buy and wear. 

That is why slow fashion comes as an excellent solution to Fast Fashion. 

(Source: The Economic Times / EYD Clothing) 

What is slow fashion?

Contrary to Fast Fashion, Slow Fashion is a term that describes a sustainable and conscious approach to the entire fashion industry, fashion production, and consumption. Slow fashion garments are mostly made of environmentally-friendly materials or from recycled textiles. By doing this, the clothes are more durable, long-lasting, and come of higher quality. Slow Fashion is also known as Luxury fashion. 

Slow Fashion production

Slow Fashion supports and promotes the importance of using high-quality materials and eco-friendly production. These items are usually made of natural fibers, such as cotton and linen for example. They are biodegradable, and they do not pollute the water. In addition to this,  closed water systems are a great option so that the water is reused and colors do not get into the wastewater. 
The production of Slow Fashion garments is carried through local manufacture. The partnering of this kind significantly increases the salaries and the working conditions of the employees, which is not the case in the factories for Fast Fashion. 

Besides this main perception of Slow Fashion, there is one additional concept to it. Not only sustainability, but second-hand clothes fall under this category too. These types of clothes are the ones being exchanged or sold requiring no production at all, becoming usable rather than waste. 

(Source: Sanvt / Vogue) 

Fast Fashion vs Slow Fashion

As mentioned above, Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion are two totally opposite concepts. The main goal of fast fashion is to produce and sell more, in a shorter amount of time, with lower prices and not taking any particular attention to the environment. Slow Fashion is the total opposite of all of that. It produces fairly, with less harm to the environment and fair treatment of the workers. Slow fashion is a much better choice since it provides a higher quality of the clothes, higher price, and no need for them to be so frequently changed. 

Fast Fashion is still present and active, and it most certainly will, because of the stylish looks it provides, but the damage it causes to the environment is something irreplaceable. To make fashion fairer to the workers, to us, and to the planet itself, the general belief and the idea is to move towards and consider buying Slow Fashion brands. By doing that, the changes and the results will take effect and the entire concept of fashion will be improved and made more eco-friendly and sustainable. 

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