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Fast fashion vs slow fashion

From day one, we’ve always been driven by slow fashion, and therefore ethical practices and sustainability are at the core of everything we do.

But we wanted to expand on why we feel so strongly about this and shine a light on the damaging process and effects of fast fashion on the environment and those creating the garments, in the hope of educating more consumers. 

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion will take current trends from big name designers and imitate these styles so that the fashion-conscious individuals among us can access them at far cheaper prices.

These collections can have a turnaround time of just two weeks from design to production to retail, which is only possible because of an evident lack of ethical techniques.

Fast fashion brands can only achieve this level of fast and cheap distribution through workforce exploitation, meaning they are deliberately seeking out cheap labour in countries where fair working conditions are not strictly enforced.

In countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia where garments can be mass produced quickly for an incredibly low cost, employees are working up to 13-hour days with no breaks and costing no more than $12 a month in wages. 

It’s quite unbelievable to us how this fast fashion system is still happening in our day and age, but it is, and it happens way more often than the typical consumer may even realise.

Fast fashion vs slow fashion by Dreamers & Drifters

Image credit: The New Daily.

What’s more, with such an abundance of cheap clothing available, people are buying unnecessary amounts of fast fashion items, only wearing them once or twice before throwing away and buying something new.

This high volume of clothes end up in landfill sites across the world, damaging the environment and contributing to global warming.

“With this foundation laid, the shopper doesn’t think twice about buying again and again, the cycle is endless, so the production cycle keeps going. It’s easy to see why overproduction happens, then with too much stock the prices are driven down, winter is delivered in February and Summer in July. It’s just a messy cycle.” – Verity, D&D Founder & Designer.

We need to find a way to break this damaging cycle.

What is slow fashion?

Slow fashion, on the other hand, aims to decrease this cycle of speedy production, consumption and disposal.

By placing greater consideration and appreciation onto each and every purchase, from the materials used to how the garment is made and who is making it, slow fashion connects the buyer with the clothes in order to provide a quality product that has been ethically made.

Fast fashion vs slow fashion by Dreamers & Drifters

It’s this buyer-to-garment connection that means the consumer will not only appreciate what they are buying more, and the work that went into the garment, but that they will want to keep it in their wardrobe for years to come and wear it over and over again.

“The core difference between slow fashion and fast fashion is overproduction. The fast fashion model seduces the shopper into thinking it’s okay to wear an outfit once and then buy a new one. With this mindset, the shopper loses sight of what and why they’re buying, if it’s such a fleeting relationship less thought goes into the transaction and it becomes disposable.” – Verity, D&D Founder & Designer.

We strongly believe the first step in breaking this cycle is the shopper becoming more mindful of their purchases.

For example, not buying something new that just needs to be washed or mended, handing down clothes instead of throwing them away and seeking out brands who openly talk about the factories they work with, use smaller production runs, and are conscious of their fabric choices and printing methods. 

We would love you to read more about our ethics and our story. Please get in touch if you have any questions about our use of slow fashion across Dreamers & Drifters.

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