What is fast fashion and why should it be avoided?
Nowadays, we own five times as many clothes as our grandparents did and for a fraction of the price… but at what cost? The constant accumulation of cheap clothing for “micro-seasons” is only possible due to the appalling working conditions that factory workers face and serious environmental consequences to our planet.
On average 80 billion garments are produced each year and from that, about 35kg is wasted per person each year in the US. To make matters even worse, we typically only wear clothes seven times before tossing them. This phenomenon has rightly earned its name – fast fashion.
Fast fashion is the second-largest polluter in the world. In fact, the negative environmental impact of fast fashion includes water pollution, toxic chemicals and textile waste not just through production, but the amount thrown away by consumers. It contributes to water pollution because of the toxic waste-waters that are released when making clothes with poor materials, not to mention the excessive use of water it takes to make each fashion item. Fast fashion also contributes to a tenth of the world’s carbon emissions, and relies on inhuman working conditions and labour exploitation to maintain its cheap prices.
How can you be a conscious buyer?
The good news, however, is that that you can make a difference by instead choosing to live by Vivienne Westwood’s words: “Buy less, choose well and make it last”. In other words, you can make a positive change in the world by valuing quality over quantity. Natural fabrics supersede artificial textiles and by buying from a sustainable fashion brand, you can help pollute less and ensure that your clothing is ethically produced. Small designer brands usually work with limited quantity runs which in effect encourages conscious consumerism.
Slow: A new take on the fashion industry
A recent movement in the apparel industry, called the “slow fashion movement”, is a socially conscious movement. Slow fashion expresses a consumer awareness of responsibility that shifts the buyer’s mindset from quantity to quality. While encouraging people to buy items less often, it validates purchases of higher value. This movement rejects fast changing trend and clothes made with minimum quality. The sustainable vision of fashion is similar to that and connects fashion to awareness and responsibility.
As well as slowing the consumption cycle, the slow fashion concept also encourages slower production. Slower production avoids exploiting natural and human resources, intentionally preventing a possible industry temptation to speed up the manufacturing pace even when dedicated to sustainable manufacturing. With slower production cycles, the environment has more time to regenerate. Clothing items are produced in smaller amounts, which can require consumption of fewer resources and create less waste. Significantly, the slow fashion concept is about the global clothing industry, where the new vision of sustainability is already actively pursued.
At Tutussie, we are proud to call ourselves a slow fashion brand producing designs that are thoughtfully curated with longevity and versatility in mind, allowing each piece to age with you and live beyond the season. We work with Mongolian pashmina and cashmere materials and with the finest craftsmen to create a minimal yet feminine finish. As a sustainable fashion brand, we only use biodegradable and natural materials such as cashmere and wool.