You Know Fast Fashion Is Bad For The Planet. So Why Can’t You Stop Buying It?

Fast fashion and sustainability: We often hear these two terms grouped together, with the former being to blame for hindering the latter.

Most of us fundamentally know there’s a price to pay for super affordable clothes. Consumers aren’t just paying money to add items to their cart ― they’re also paying an environmental and human toll.

But is fast fashion truly the only entity to blame? Or should we really be pointing the finger at ourselves, the ones buying and tossing out the fast fashion? Surely there’s more we can do as consumers.

The fundamental problems with the fast fashion

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Slowing down fast fashion for Fashion Revolution Week

Sara Longo has always loved fashion.

“When I was younger, I thought that meant keeping up with trends and having a lot of clothes,” says the Pittsburgh-based sustainability consultant and National Geographic Certified Educator. “Although, as I got older and smarter, I learned just how bad the fashion industry is for the environment.”

The recent trend toward fast fashion has led to big profits, as new manufacturing techniques push out new styles from catwalk to customers at an incredible pace, for lower and lower prices. The heavy use of synthetic fabrics also has advantages, ranging from cost to moisture-wicking properties.

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DARKOA: Fast fashion has dangerous consequences

Many millennials and Zoomers alike have grown up in the age of mass consumerism. We have all heard of the phrase, “shop ’til you drop,” and for some of us, this is how we are used to spending our money. Shopping malls are always the go-to weekend place, and with online shopping at our disposal, purchasing an entirely new wardrobe has never been easier.  Like so many Americans, I had become accustomed to this way of life.

Then, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic happened. With malls closed and delivery services delayed, I no longer had a need to purchase anything

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Break up with fast fashion

Many of us experienced the brain-numbing boredom of lockdown after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. To pass the time, I had the wonderful idea to redo my wardrobe. Obviously, this was not an inexpensive feat, so I found myself on websites such as Shein, Missguided, Nasty Gal and Fashion Nova. 

These brands always have the trendiest clothes for insanely cheap prices. $4.99 for a cute little shoulder bag? Score! I couldn’t believe my luck. But the reality isn’t so exciting. 

Fast fashion has swept the nation and is one of the most unethical and unsustainable industry practices. Fast fashion means “cheaply

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Resellers are investing in new tech to compete with fast fashion

At the beginning of March, luxury conglomerate Kering took a 5% minority stake in French luxury resale platform Vestiaire Collective. It was one of the most significant crossover moments between the worlds of luxury brands and resale. 

There has long been contention between the two sectors, most evident in the ongoing legal battle between The RealReal and Chanel. But increasingly, luxury brands are beginning to see resellers as allies instead of enemies. When the company invested in Vestiaire Collective, Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault called resale “a real and deeply rooted trend” in a press statement. And Kering brand Gucci read more

How To Quit Fast Fashion for Good

The MO of “fast fashion” brands is to mass-produce trendy designs at a low cost. While some brands are working on a greener selection, we know that greenwashing, waste, and human rights violations abound in the fashion industry.

Emma Mathews, founder of the sustainable British sock brand Socko and author of How to Quit Fast Fashion: 100 Expert Tips for a Sustainable Wardrobe advised us on how to take meaningful steps towards quitting fast fashion.

Learn the True Cost of Fast Fashion

Clothing is more than the sum of its materials. Behind every garment are people, water,

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