The difference between slow fashion, fast fashion & ultra fast-fashion
The chances are quite high that you have come across the concept of fast fashion. Fast fashion is used partly to describe the clothing industry's backside of mass production and resource use and partly as a label for fashion companies with low prices and high turnover. Fast fashion is defined by low prices, constant news, and high turnover with a focus on quantity (instead of quality). In practice, this means garments with a short life cycle and, by extension, unnecessary waste.
Why is fast fashion bad?
Although it sounds tempting with low prices and constantly new collections, fast production chains have major consequences for both people and the environment. Producing clothes requires enormous resources and emits large amounts of greenhouse gases - since fast fashion took off, clothing production has almost doubled in the last 15 years. Fast fashion companies are also often characterized by poor working conditions with lousy wages and unsafe workplaces, all to keep prices down and provide customers with constant news.
Advantages of slow fashion
Slow fashion can be described as a kind of backlash to fast fashion where the focus is on awareness and sustainability with the motto that clothes have no best-before date. It's basically about reducing the amount of newly produced clothes and extending the life of what you already have in your wardrobe at home. This is achieved, among other things, by:
* Exchange and borrow clothes from each other or clothing rental companies
* Take care of your existing garments and mend things that break
* Shop second hand
* Think before you buy something and make sure you need it or will use it again and again
Slow fashion is defined by sustainable materials, ethical working conditions, and thoughtfulness.
It's about quality over quantity and contributing to a more sustainable consumption climate.
With inspiration from fast fashion companies, ultra-fast fashion has emerged. It's basically like fast fashion, but even faster. Ultra-fast fashion brands take advantage of the new business models that have emerged in recent years, in the form of the great influence social media and influencers have on lifestyle and shopping behavior. Thanks to a faster supply chain and hundreds of small local subcontractors, ultra-fast fashion brands can produce a form of test collections. There are smaller batches of clothing that are produced in two days and shipped within 24 hours. If the products are successful, larger quantities are produced, but if they are not successful, the collections are thrown away or burned. Ultra-fast fashion chains can upload more than 10,000 new styles every day on their website.
Ultra-fast fashion is thus characterized by overproduction and clothing waste. It is about an insatiable hunger for profit without regard for those who work with production or for nature. About half of the clothes produced are made of so-called virgin plastic – a non-biodegradable substance that will release microfibers for a long time to come. These microfibers end up in waterways and are spread in the air, among other things.
What can I as a consumer do?
There are several ways for you as a consumer to contribute to a more sustainable consumption climate. First of all, it is important to be well-educated, then it is time to start acting. A good first step can be to review your clothing consumption - here are six tips on how to have a more sustainable wardrobe — as well as actively avoiding shopping from fast fashion and/or ultra-fast fashion companies.