The Pressures of Consumer Demand
It’s not uncommon these days for people to buy an item of clothing for an event and wear it just once. This is the premise of fast fashion and the sheer volume of clothing sold is how money is made. Unfortunately, creating the volume of clothing needed in order to satiate our demand for new stock in stores creates an incredible pressure on the workers and transport systems used to create and deliver our clothing, bringing into question the ethics of the industry. This demand seems to be increasing year on year, with 950,000 tonnes of clothing consumed in the UK in 2012, rising to1,130,000 tonnes in 2016*. The fast fashion industry is built on unsustainable practices; will it be able to accommodate this ever-increasing demand or will it crack under the intense strain? As consumers, perhaps it is time to start considering our buying habits, and making purchases based on how much ‘wear’ we will get for an item of clothing.
*Taken from the WRAP report; Valuing Our Clothes: The cost of UK fashion, 11th July 2017/ Taking stock: UK clothing consumption
The fast fashion industry is known for being cheap, however the truth behind this idea is actually rather deceiving. Consumers are manipulated into thinking they are purchasing a bargain when in reality it costs the company very little to make the item in the first place as the materials and methods used are often low quality. This means that the clothing may fall apart after just a handful of uses, requiring replacement almost immediately. As purchase prices are so low, it seems better to repurchase a similar item rather than repairing the garment, leading to more clothing in landfill. In this sense, the fast fashion industry is a repetitive cycle that relies on consumers to keep purchasing their low-quality products in order stay afloat.
The main priority of fast fashion is to get clothing onto the shop floor in an efficient and timely manner which often means that little regard is given for the ethics behind the production of the clothing. In fact, some fast fashion brands have faced the brunt of unwanted media attention after pleas for help were found sewn inside clothing from unpaid workers.
Here at 2forjoy, we believe that clothing is something that everybody should be able to enjoy, however it is hard to ignore the damage that the fashion industry inflicts on both our planet and workers. Luckily, supporting brands which have a more responsible approach to sourcing and production of products can help to make a change. Here at 2forjoy, we follow slow fashion principles, creating high quality clothing to last beyond a single season. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of the 2forjoy team today!