What is the difference really between fast fashion vs slow fashion?
Slow fashion is trending. It is the new black (or the new green if you will), but what is all the hype all about? The fashion industry is one of the most polluting businesses in the world, and slow fashion is trying to change that.
Slow fashion provides an alternative in the fashion industry, so we as fashion lovers actually can make a greener choice. Fast fashion is kind of slow fashion’s opposite – the name pretty much says it all.
But what is fast fashion, why is it bad and why is slow fashion better? I will try to answer all your questions regarding fast fashion and slow fashion in this post and hopefully, we will once and for all settle the battle of fast fashion Vs slow fashion.
Let’s begin with the less fun one. Fast fashion. Everyone seems to be discussing the term and all the negative impacts fast fashion has on the environment and people around the world. Fashion brands don’t seem eager to be associated with the term fast fashion – but why? Is it really that bad if fashion is fast?
The business model called fast fashion made it possible to deliver styles, which match the trends seen on high-end catwalks to an inexpensive price
Well, yes it is. Fast fashion is bad for the people who are part of the fast-fashion supply chain, the environment, and it only contributes to overconsumption in the world.
What is fast fashion?
Fast fashion is basically about creating as many pieces of clothes and getting them on the market as fast as possible. You might have seen almost identical pieces from high-end designers’ collections hanging in cheap shops fast than you can count to ten.
Well, this pretty much sums up what fast fashion is about. Bigger fast-fashion chains create popular items seen in fashion magazines, and they can almost have them delivered to the stores two weeks later.
The business model called fast fashion made it possible to deliver styles, which matches the trends seen on high-end catwalks to an inexpensive price, in the same season the luxury brands come up with the trends.
To be able to keep the price low and move so fast that they don’t miss the next big fashion trend, fast fashion, of course, has to keep the production costs as low as possible. This, unfortunately, has a cost. And quite a big one. So let’s take a closer look at how fast fashion production works.
How does fast fashion production work?
When you look at fast fashion vs slow fashion, one of the most important thing to look at is production. The fast fashion industry is often critizised for the way they produce clothes. Because the process has to be as fast and cheap as possible the production ends up having major ethical and environmental costs.
So much clothes is produced in so little time, workers are under tremendous pressure at the factories. They work under inhuman conditions, and because the prices needs to kept as low as possible, the wages doesn’t even meet the living costs in the country they live in.
Because the manufacturing of fast fashion collections should be done in a heartbeat, the production companies often resort to illegal ways of production. This is due to the enormous competition on the market and the demands of the consumers in the world.
But fast fashion production not only has ethical costs. It also has an enormous negative impact on the environment. Since the price needs to be kept as low as possible to keep the consumers happy, the materials used in fast fashion clothing isn’t exactly great.
Damaging chemicals are often used during the manufacturing process – chemicals that pollute and affect natural resources such as rivers, oceans, and forests. Fast fashion production also has a lot of by-products such as microplastic. These small fibers are released into our oceans killing living beings who residence there.
Luckily the production part is where there is a huge difference between slow fashion vs fast fashion, but back to that later.
What are the problems with fast fashion
As described above the main problems with fast fashion are the ethical and the environmental damages it costs. Fast fashion production demands have high demands for the people working in the factories. But not only are these people forced to work under unethical terms, which doesn’t meet the standards of legal working conditions. They don’t get paid a fair living wage either. On top of that, the people who work in factories are often exposed to dangerous chemicals.
The environmental costs of fast fashion isn’t a pretty sight either. The production of fast fashion clothes is polluting the air we breathe, the ocean we swim in, and the water we drink. It is contributing to the global climate challenge we are facing at the moment all over the world. But luckily there is an alternative – it is called slow fashion.
Now to the other half of the “fast fashion vs slow fashion” discussion. Slow fashion is a term that is becoming even more popular every time a new season of clothes hits the high-street chains. It is proof that there might be hope for a greener fashion industry in the near future. But what does slow fashion mean and what is it? Let’s dive into that down below.
What is slow fashion
Slow Fashion was made as an antidote to the existing fashion industry. It is basically considered to be the opposite of fast fashion. In slow fashion, everything from production, working conditions, sustainability, and use of materials are taken into account – and rethought.
Slow fashion is kind of the “good guy” in the battle between fast fashion vs slow fashion. It provides the consumer with an eco-friendly and ethical alternative and allows us to make a sustainable choice.
Slow fashion is clothes made from highly sustainable materials. Clothes that are being recycled, and have been produced under proper working conditions for everyone involved. Slow fashion clothes are basically the greener choice in the fashion industry.
If you want to learn more about Slow fashion check out our complete guide to slow fashion here.
Slow fashion production
Slow fashion production is about producing clothes in a way that affects the earth and the nearby environment and ecosystem as little as possible. They only use natural and organic materials in slow fashion production, and no harsh chemicals are used during manufacturing. The pollution emission is also kept as low as possible.
The working conditions at the factories are highly ethical and fair. All the worker’s wages also have to be fair and live up to certain standards.
You can read more about how slow fashion production work here. In this article, we go in depth with how slow fashion production actually works from the extraction and choice of the materials through the whole production process.
Benefits of slow fashion
I could make a long list of all the benefits slow fashion brings to the table, but here are a few of the most important once in my opinion:
- It is better for the environment
- It provides better working conditions for the people who make your clothes
- It is better for your skin. Often harsh chemicals are used in the production of fast fashion items. Slow fashion brands, on the other hand, don’t use the same harsh chemicals.
- It sustains uniqueness in the fashion industry since items can’t follow a certain trend or be produced in three weeks.
Of course, there are lots of other benefits of slow fashion. These are just a few of them. If you want to shop with an eco-conscious mindset, slow fashion is your option. When talking about fast fashion vs slow fashion, i think it becomes clear that slow fashion is important, because we need an alternative to fast fashion. A more sustainable alternative. Slow fashion is exactly that.
Fast Fashion Vs Slow Fashion
But what are the main differences between fast fashion vs slow fashion? Let’s take a closer look at the things that make the two types of fashion so very different.
|Fast fashion||Slow fashion|
|Poor working conditions||Fair working conditions with fair wages|
|80% of all fast fashion clothes are thrown out.||Clothes are recycled, repair or resold|
|Materials are poor and usually extracted in an unsustainable way||Only uses sustainable and natural materials|
|8,000 synthetic chemicals are used in the production of fast fashion clothes||No harsh chemicals are used|
As you can see there are a lot of differences between fast fashion vs slow fashion. There are tons of more, but this is just to give you an idea of what separates fast fashion from slow fashion.
So why is slow fashion important?
After this battle of fast fashion vs slow fashion i don’t think there is any doubt of which one of the two that is the winner in my book. It is of course slow fashion.
I hope you fell in love (or fallen in love all over again) with slow fashion. But in case you didn’t quite fell it yet, let’s just talk about one more time why slow fashion is important.
Slow fashion is important because it is an alternative so fast fashion. It provides us with the option of making a greener choice.
Slow fashion not only fights for the environment, but also for the workers who makes our clothes and their working conditions and wages. All in all slow fashion really hasn’t any negative side effects. It is all about making it possible to love fashion and the environment and the same time. To break down those presumptions that fashion can’t be sustainable.
It is about making the fashion industry take responsibility for the future. Because fashion can be green and sustainable. Slow fashion is a living proof of that.