The Business of Fast Fashion
This is the time of year that the Mercedes-Benz Fall Fashion Week takes over most of New York, as fashion has done in one form or another in this city for more than 70 years. This week is an exciting, creative whirlwind of new fashion trends and styles showcased from a host of designers around the world; but how does it affect you and me and our environment?
According to retailers, designers and environmental thought leaders it’s the ‘Fast Fashion’ that stems from Fashion Week that green shoppers should be wary of. According to OnlineMBA.com the term refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag. For the last two decades, clothing retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have popularized Fast Fashion among everyday consumers. However, not everyone is a huge fan of the trend.
Many designers, for instance, have complained that Fast Fashion has reduced conceptual originality within the clothing industry in order to produce a higher volume of garments and accessories. Zara, for example, churns out 10,000 new items every year; most boutique designers, by comparison, release between 50 and 100 pieces.
The Fast Fashion trend has also led to environmental concerns. Every year, the clothing industry produces 2 million tons of waste, emits 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, and uses 70 million tons of water; these figures have significantly risen in the years since Fast Fashion became a retailing standard. To make matters worse, the quality of these garments is typically so low that most are discarded or donated to charity by the wearer within two years of the original purchase.
Roughly 300 retailers have signed on to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), a collective that aims to reduce wastefulness in the fashion industry. SCAP seeks to produce and sell clothing without producing undesirable environmental effects; another goal of the group is to exclusively limit international business deals and projects to countries that have established strict labor regulations.
Watch more about this disturbing retail trend here:
Created by OnlineMBA.com
Tell us: What do you think of this stance on ‘Fast Fashion?’ What are you doing today to make your wardrobe greener?