With the impacts of fast fashion on the rise, it’s more important than ever to invest in brands you can trust
When it comes to fashion, everyone wants to jump into the latest trends that speak to them, and it’s hard not to get caught up when ultra-affordable replicas are readily available on the market. However, it’s important to take a step back and think about how we’re able to buy things at such a low cost.
Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok make it impossible not to feel like you’re missing out if you don’t have the latest trending styles. This encourages impulsive purchasing decisions that you might not otherwise make. Even if social media isn’t involved, it’s common to want to get the “most” for your money. Many consumers will end up opting for cheaper items with the promise of expanding their closets beyond their imagination.
Fast fashion isn’t new, but it’s growing at an alarming rate that consumers should be aware of. Earth.org reports that while clothing production has more than doubled since 2000, the lifespan of clothing is decreasing just as rapidly.
What is fast fashion?
Even if you have never heard the term “fast fashion” you’re almost certainly familiar with the brands aligned with this kind of manufacturing process. Brands like Fashion Nova, Shein, H&M, Forever21, Zara, and similar companies cut costs as much as possible in their manufacturing process which results in a much lower quality, but more affordable product.
Since these garments aren’t built to last for more than a season, consumers will often discard items after they become damaged because they aren’t worth the cost of repair, or simply because they aren’t on trend anymore.
Why is fast fashion so popular?
Social media has completely changed the way we live our daily lives. Influencers possess the power to change how we make our coffee and even brush our teeth, so fashion is no different. You could be going about your day as usual and suddenly one scroll down your newsfeed is leading you to a shopping cart checkout.
It’s important to note that the concept of fast fashion long precedes the invention of social media. Victoria’s Secret had massive popularity well before anyone had a smartphone—our mindset towards following fast trends and seeing our wardrobes as disposable is ingrained in society. As a result, it’s something we need to acknowledge and work towards changing.
The impact of fast fashion
What often gets missed in the hype of fast fashion is how disposable it is. It’s easy to get rid of last season’s clothes when they didn’t cost very much and are easy to replace. But the environmental and societal impact doesn’t end there—in fact, it only continues and gets worse over time.
Everyone knows it takes a lot of water to run a washing machine, so there is always an implied environmental impact when it comes to washing your clothes. In fact, it’s the second most important factor when it comes to the environment. But did you know that the material of your clothes can create a smaller or larger carbon footprint?
CNN Style reports that there are an estimated 728,789 plastic microfibers released into the air with each load of acrylic garments you put through the wash. Most fast fashion is made from synthetic materials, so the first way to combat this is by investing in clothing made from sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics.
Other important environmental stats:
- About 80% of all clothing is incinerated or landfilled.
- It takes up to 200 tons of water to make just one ton of dyed fabric.
It might be common knowledge that large manufacturing plants around the world have less than desirable working conditions. But what about when working in the garment industry becomes a life-or-death situation?
One of the most shocking events in manufacturing occurred in 2013, when a building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1132 garment workers and leaving 2500 injured. Fast fashion requires keeping overhead costs as low as possible, which makes it a lot harder to maintain safer working conditions and provide a fair wage.
The importance of sustainable fashion
The idea of making clothing with sustainable attributes isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity to ensure a better future for the planet and the people who work in the industry.
If you want to evaluate your current shopping habits, there are several factors to look out for when browsing new products. This way, you can feel more assured when you get ready to make your next purchase.
- Where are the garments made?
- Is the clothing mass produced?
- Does the company use ethically sourced materials where possible?
- Does the brand offer transparency when it comes to sustainability initiatives?
Remember, the only benefit of fast fashion is the extremely low direct cost, so don’t be thrown off if more ethical garments come with a higher price tag. The ethical cost is much lower, so you can feel good knowing that you’re helping the environment and supporting fair working conditions. The bottom line is this, if you’re always looking for the cheapest option available, you might be missing out on a wardrobe that would make you feel more confident, and even inspired.
Take a step away from fast fashion with Amanda Maria
Amanda Maria was founded on the idea of empowering women from the inside out, because not only do you feel good when you look good—you feel good when you know you’re doing good. When you wear any piece by Amanda Maria, you are representing a commitment to lasting positive change in a world that too often gets distracted by the fastest output at the lowest cost.
Sustainable style with a mission
With over 10 million tons of clothing entering North American landfills annually, Amanda Maria aims to seize an opportunity to make a positive impact while producing high-quality garments that empower customers.
Style is so personal, and Amanda Maria understands that the design of a product is just as important as its carbon footprint. You’ll be able to feel confident and on-trend all while having the peace of mind that you’re truly contributing to a much greater cause.