Let’s Talk About Fast Fashion

If you’ve heard the phrase ‘Fast Fashion’ thrown around and not felt completely sure what it means - you’re not alone. It’s a term whose use has grown in frequency over the last few years, with brands now going to great pains to counteract the damage fast fashion has wrought on the environment.

As we all continue to grow and strive for a more sustainable future, it’s necessary to educate ourselves on what constitutes fast fashion as well as its myriad ethical and environmental impacts. The Good Trade defines it as "A design, manufacturing, and marketing method focused on rapidly producing high volumes of clothing."

At a glance, it’s easy to assume fast fashion is limited to cheap and mass produced clothing, and though this is correct it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Fast fashion is also synonymous with unsustainable and unethical practices, ranging anywhere from manufacturing with non-biodegradable or low quality fabrications, trend replication, poor working conditions, over-working and not earning a liveable wage despite some employees working almost 70 hours a week.

In many cases, the ways in which these cheap garments are produced violate numerous basic human rights, as well as an individual’s personal ethics. According to the Garment Working Centre (a worker rights organization encouraging an anti-sweatshop to enhance conditions for garment workers),

“Approximately 85% of garment workers do not earn the minimum wage and are instead paid a piece rate of between 2-6 cents per piece.”

Sustainable fashion cannot subsist without transparency. This is why at Showroom-X we stock brands that are open and informative regarding their manufacturing processes. From brands such as KITX, who pride themselves on complete transparency, and ensure a fair, safe and healthy working conditions and guarantee environmental responsibility throughout their supply chain, to Lee Mathews, ESSE Studios, Jac + Jack, Matin, Matteau and Bassike, we actively champion labels who are conscious and transparent about their products and their processes.

Where European retail giant ZARA needs only a little over a week to design, produce and stock a new product on the shelves, it would comparatively take a smaller, more sustainable business at least six months. These brands need our support now more than ever.


Garment Worker Center