Many popular fashion retailers are like supermarkets. Their merchandise includes clothing, shoes and accessories in one place. Stock is replaced with new styles each season. “Fast fashion” is the process of rapidly designing, creating and merchandising these products in order to keep up with the latest trends. Because this takes place quickly, on a large scale and at a low cost to the company, these products can be lackluster in quality.
Fast fashion is associated with disposable clothing, which wears out quickly, encouraging customers to return for more. Garments, typically made of inorganic materials, are becoming waste almost as quickly as new products are stocked. That is an environmental concern.
There are several ways to reduce garment waste.
Mending reparable clothing will lengthen its life and limit the amount of time it spends in a landfill.
Irreparable clothing can be recycled at local collection boxes.
Thrifting (buying second-hand clothes) is a great option because it allows one to choose from eclectic styles, it can be affordable, and it is an opportunity to support local thrift stores, churches and the like.
Swapping clothing is another way to give it new life and get creative with style.
Fast fashion is exciting. The environmental implication of waste is not. Being conscious of the ways we maintain and dispose of our clothing can delay its journey to the landfill. Adding previously owned clothing to one’s wardrobe can be fun, wallet-friendly if you look in the right places, and a positive contribution to one’s community.
Cora Noelle Mitchell