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Exploring Fast Fashion: A Sustainable Alternative

Exploring Beyond Fast Fashion: A Sustainable Alternative

The fashion industry has been one of the most dynamic and rapidly evolving industries for years, but with the skyrocketing growth, it has encountered an immense amount of challenges, such as exploring beyond Fast Fashion.

The idea behind quick consumption and production of fast fashion brands has dominated the fashion sector, which not only jeopardizes the environment by creating less eco-friendly products but also raises ethical questions. 

In today’s blog, we will delve deep into the intricate aspects of fast fashion and explore the sustainable alternatives.

What is fast fashion? How has fashion picked up speed?

Fast fashion refers to the cheap and trendy clothing styles that take inspiration from the runway or celebrity culture and produce a final product at a rapid pace to meet consumer demands or market needs.

The main goal of fast fashion brands is to capatalize on the latest trends in the market to maintain the popularity of fashion when the market is at its peak and, unfortunately, abandon them after a few wears. Fast fashion follows the idea of wearing the latest designs as soon as they emerge, leading to a toxic system of overproduction and consumption that has made fashion one of the world’s leading pollutants, disrupting the circular economy.

According to the reports from the past few years, the global fast fashion market grew from $91.23 billion in 2021 to $99.23 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8%. It is expected that the estimated growth rate through 2026 could reach around 7.7%, with a market size of $133.43 billion

To understand how fashion picked up speed, let’s go back into history. During the 1800s, the concept of slow fashion was embraced. To craft a cloth, one has to gather all the resources, such as wool, leather or other sustainable materials.  Prepare and weave them to get the final results.

With the evolution of the Industrial Era, new technologies such as sewing machines came into existence. The sustainable manufacturing of clothing became more streamlined, rapid, and cost-effective. This led to the establishment of dressmaking shops catering to the middle class.

You may also like – Handmade to High-Tech: The Evolution of Replica Fashion.

After the Industrial Revolution, from the 1920s to the 1980s, ready-to-wear became popular. However, with the rise of high-street retailers, everything started to take pace. The fashion industry boomed by speeding up trend cycles and stocking thousands of new items in stores every week. Later, Online stores took over, disrupting their fast fashion giants with their ultra-fast fashion approach. 

Global Fast Fashion Market - AutifyNetwork

The Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion

According to recent reports, fast fashion has not only set trends but also has a substantial impact on the environment and the lives of textile workers. More than $500 million is lost annually due to a lack of environmentally friendly products, which impacts the recycling process and clothing utilization. Recent studies show that clothing sales rose from 100 to 200 billion units each year, although the average number of times an item was worn fell by 36% overall. 

The amount of waste produced in the production of clothing is inarguably massive. The fashion industry sums up around 93 billion cubic metres of water annually, with much of it left contaminated by toxic chemicals. Shockingly, textile dyeing alone contributes to 20% of global wastewater.

Over a year, 92 million tonnes of clothing waste is produced, resulting in half a million tons of microplastic. A survey by Fashion Checkers shows that 93% of brands refuse to pay fair living wages to textile workers, leading to a cheap workforce. 

An Alternative Beyond Fast Fashion: Sustainable Fashion

The term Sustainable fashion refers to the production of clothes while keeping the social, economic, and environmental factors into attention. This includes fair remuneration to the workers across the supply chain, fostering safe and healthy working conditions, and monitoring the ecological footprint of sustainably manufactured products.

In recent years fast fashion has faced a lot of criticism for its negative environmental impacts and cheap labour work. Taking that into consideration, many consumers are becoming more mindful of the impact of their clothing choices and adopting sustainable fashion practices.

This awareness among consumers and manufacturers opens the gate for a sustainable lifestyle, forcing companies to reevaluate their business strategies and invest in more sustainable processes.

In addition to advancements at the consumer and corporate levels, organizations and industry performers are working to promote more sustainable solutions. Governments are enacting legislation to reduce the industry’s environmental impact, promote transparency in the supply chain, and incentivize sustainable production practices. 

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The future of fashion can have a great impact with the rise of more sustainable products demanding that the fashion industry adopt more environmentally and socially responsible methods. The fashion industry’s environmental effect is astounding, and it is up to all of us to demand action. By supporting sustainable fashion labels and making mindful purchasing decisions, we can contribute to a more sustainable world.

Are you wondering how to elevate your sustainability game as a fashion brand? Look out for Autify Network. We apply blockchain technology to provide end-to-end sustainability and origin traceability throughout your supply chain. Also, we ensure that your brand contributes to a more sustainable and equitable future.

Sign up for our Product Demo today and gain access to our six exclusive advantages, helping your company become a leader in the sustainable fashion market.