Updated: Jun 12, 2020
You have likely heard the term “fast fashion” buzzing around for the last couple of years and well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s not a positive term. Like fast food, it’s the cheap, sleazy, unhealthy version of fashion and is destroying our planet one cheaply made t-shirt at a time.
It’s probably safe to say we have all been there at one point or another….you see that brightly colored “3 for $20” sign at the front of the store and zip right on in thinking about how many more items you’ll be able to buy since you’re being such a smart shopper finding all these great deals. We’ve all driven through the drive-thru of those tempting golden arches more than a few times, too, knowing it’s not the best option for lunch but hey, it’s just so fast and cheap, right??
Problem is this - That money we are saving is actually costing the environment much, much more. I’m not going to name names here but there are SO many brands contributing to this trend, it’s hard to avoid as a consumer. Just like those fast food restaurants at every corner offering inexpensive meals, fast fashion is all around us. The massive impact of fast fashion can be divided into 2 main categories:
1. SOCIAL IMPACT: Fashion brands that sell their items at extremely low prices are able to do so because they manufacture in countries where they can pay very low wages (not to mention the unsafe working conditions, lax environmental regulations and use of child labor)
2. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: The fast fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter next to oil, one of the largest consumers of fresh water AND releases thousands of different chemicals used in textile production into our soil and waterways which of course ends up in the ocean. !! Bottom line – it’s just plain dirty.
For a more detailed description of the effects of fast fashion on the planet, check out https://7billionfor7seas.com/fast-fashion-facts/. It may shock you. It’s worth the read.
Consumers DO have a choice...
Thankfully, there are sustainable options for those of us choosing to be conscious consumers. Perhaps you have already adopted the practice of second-hand shopping, consignment or clothing exchanges for example. Or maybe you look for clothing that is made locally, although that can be harder to find in some places. Here is a fairly comprehensive list of sustainable fashion brands if you are interested in supporting businesses who are going against the fast fashion trend
As a small business owner, I am proud to be contributing to the “slow fashion” movement. By second-hand sourcing 95% of my fabrics, thread and other materials, I am able to create one of a kind items that are not only unique but that also provide consumers with a choice they can feel all warm and fuzzy about. (Kind of like eating fresh produce from the local farmer’s market rather than stopping for a Quarter Pounder with cheese on your way home….) And to contribute on a greater level, 5% of all sales are donated to charity: water which brings clean drinking water to needy communities around the world. If you’re looking for affordable and ethically made kimonos, beach covers, yoga accessories and décor, check out https://www.shiningheartdesigns.ca.
And if you’re chomping at the bit to learn more about slow, sustainable or ethical fashion, here is a great piece by Kyle Kawolski of Sloww https://www.sloww.co/slow-fashion-101/
Every conscious choice helps us to move towards a more sustainable future!
Keep Shining on,