If fast fashion had a bumble profile, we bet you’d swipe left. Behind the seductive facade and hard to beat bargains, fast fashion is equipped with a whole lot of baggage. Much like serial dating, a mindless shopping haul may seem like a good idea at the time; but once the retail rush is over, your closet is full of regrets.
But girl, it’s not you. It’s them.
Here are 5 reasons you should finally tell fast fashion that you deserve better:
Fast Fashion is Designed to Fall Apart
Fast fashion clothing can easily be compared to the rags of yesteryear. Synthetic fabrics, fraying hems, running seams, and poorly attached buttons and fasteners. Are we really OK with wearing badly constructed clothes that shrink, warp, and fall apart after a handful of washes? With new mass-produced styles available on the daily, a fast fashion T-shirt has become akin to a disposable coffee cup. Clothing that is intentionally made to fall apart will, contributing to the 82 lbs of textile waste each American sends to landfill each year.
Fast Fashion Rips Off Indie Designers
Fast fashion gets served more often than a Kardashian gets their eyebrows threaded. When they’re not being sued for things like child labor or toxic chemical dumping, big fast fashion retailers are called out for copying other people’s designs and marketing them as their own. Unlike other creative works, copyright laws don’t protect fashion design which can put an indie brand out of business.
“These billion dollar companies can certainly afford to hire the best designers for original designs yet they choose to skim off the little guys to make their profit,” says Future Glory founder Theresa Lee who found herself sending cease and desist letters to both Forever21 and Zara for knocking-off two of her handbags. “They basically know they can get away with it because no one can really stop them — there is an enormous loophole in the industry.”
Fast Fashion Exploits Women
Feminists fix fashion. The majority of factory workers who make our clothes can say #MeToo. 80% of them are women in their early twenties. Because fast fashion only affords cheap labor, these fearless women risk their lives everyday to feed their families. Enduring long hours, hazardous fumes, and dangerous machinery in a hardly-up-to-code building, they are discriminated against on the daily through sexual harassment, physical abuse, and even rape. What’s more, is that most of the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster were women and those affected have yet to see compensation from the brands involved in the factory collapse.
Fast Fashion has been Linked to Cancer
Fast fashion is the opposite of your kale and chlorella smoothie. Chemical cocktails, hormone disruptors, and heavy metals lurk in the fibers of fast fashion clothing only to be absorbed by the tiny mouths (pores) on our bodies largest organ — our skin! Despite all the fancy health products available on the market today, our incredible bodies naturally discharge up to 1lb of toxins per day. When we wear fabrics like nylon, polyester, acrylic, and acetate (that are made from crude oil) it restricts that release leading to headaches, nausea, skin rashes, respiratory problems, and endocrine imbalance. Much like wrapping yourself in plastic, petrochemical fibers don’t allow your body to breath. Azo dyes and synthetic indigo (think of those $40 blue jeans), most commonly used to color cheap clothing, is known to contain formaldehyde and release aromatic amines — of which both have been linked to cancer.
Fast Fashion is Poisoning Our Waterways
Water is life and fast fashion is killing it. In China, the largest supplier of apparel to the US, 70% of the waterways are contaminated by wastewater from the textile and dye industry. Meanwhile tanneries in Kanpur, the leather capital of India, 400 tanneries dump toxic chromium into the water supply and it’s ending up in food. Even micro particles from our nylon, acrylic, and polyester clothing subsequently end up in the oceans and 83% our drinking water after each wash cycle.
In short: you’re too good for fast fashion. And while break-ups are hard, you can count on us at Remake to guide you through. At Remake, we’re igniting a conscious fashion movement through our immersive journeys into garment maker communities and visual stories, mobilizing consumers to be curious and buy better. Discover the truth behind your fast fashion jeans, tees, and underwear and download our wallet guide to help you make more conscious shopping decisions. You can also check out some of our favorite brands in our SHOP section. Together we can #remakeourworld.
Written by guest contributor: Andrea Plell of Remake.
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