Erin Skinner on fast fashion, sustainability + everything in between🌏
SLOWLY ERIN instagram
Hi beautiful's !!!!!
WELCOME BACK TO ANOTHER SATURDAY OF SPILLING SOME VERY SPICY TEA...yay I love it here💕
I spent some time curating ALLLL the questions surrounding fast fashion, conscious consuming, eco guilt, ethical clothing + what all those words mean...and have had the absolute PRIVILEGE of having them answered by the best in the world of keeping the earth alive and thriving, Erin Skinner (slowlyerin on insta linked above x)
I promise you, this blog will CHANGE YOUR LIFE (& your next shopping trip) for the better.
ps this blog will have two parts (over this week + next) due to the huge amount of importance that needs to be shared. Get excited to learn lots and think twice about your next 10 for $10 deal xoxoxo
Fast fashion is the dominant business model across the global fashion industry. In short, fast fashion uses cost-effective labour and materials to rapidly mass-produce clothing imitating the newest high-end styles, typically sold at affordable prices. I do think it’s important to note here that fast fashion does not always mean cheap clothes. This is now the dominant business model, meaning it is used by most of today’s fashion brands – regardless of price. Fast fashion’s reliance on outsourced cheap labour and materials, and frighteningly fast production times, leaves a wake of severe environmental and ethical impacts across the entire garment life cycle. The fashion industry has moved from two major fashion cycles per year (S/S, A/W) to up to 52 (yep, that’s a new trend every week). Cheap prices and materials and accelerating trends have created a disposable fashion culture, where consumers have no connection to the clothing they buy and discard items when the trend has surpassed and/or the low-quality garment is damaged.
I buy basically everything secondhand, but here are some of my faves in the game: Zorali, Veja, Boody, Girlfriend Collective, Saye, Team Timbuktu, Saturday Lingerie, Cleonie Swim, and Lois Hazel – just to name a few!!
I mean in realistic terms, we don’t have a choice. The fashion industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions *cough* climate change *cough*; the sheer resource use required for, and the waste produced as a result of, the current levels of consumption simply cannot be sustained. We are consuming resources faster than the earth can replenish them. For most of us in the Global North (who consume the most resources) the problems seem so far away that they’re not even on our radar. It’s not our drinking water being polluted by dye runoff. It’s not our sisters/mothers/cousins being killed in factory fires. But we all share the same planet, which we need to survive.
Overconsumption is one of the defining environmental issues of fast fashion, and of modern economies in general. It’s hard to know where to draw the line when it comes to a ‘need’ or a ‘want’ with fashion – and it’s okay to want! – but the levels of consumption we are seeing now have to change (yes, you, Princess Polly haul YouTubers). You could have the most ethical, sustainable, brand in the world – but overconsumption of its products will still be a problem due to the resources needed for production and the waste produced by disposal. Between 1975 and 2018, worldwide annual textile production has more than doubled from 5.9kg to 13kg per capita. Because of the low cost associated with most fast fashion, people are buying more items than ever, yet the average per person expenditure on clothing has dropped. We buy more, pay less, and wear for shorter periods of time. In 2012, almost 60% of the ~150 billion garments produced ended up as post-consumer textile waste. In landfill, synthetic garments don’t break down, while natural materials decompose and emit methane (a greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere. When some of the world’s largest fast fashion retailers – H&M, TopShop, Zara – sell clothing that is expected to be worn less than ten times, consumers are encouraged to buy more, and more, and more to stay ‘in fashion’, at the expense of people and the planet.