How we dress is a form of individual “self-expression”; but what are we really saying about ourselves when we find ourselves in a room with at least five different people wearing the same tank?
Buying “Fast Fashion” clothing just to stay trendy is just as thoughtless as unconsciously filling our bodies up with unhealthy fast food every day.
Let’s have a quick historical tour before we start delving deep into the topic.
How Did “Fast Fashion” Start?
Back in the day, people did not own even half of what the least stylish person today has in their wardrobe. To have one item of clothing, a person had to get the materials and tools needed to prepare a piece and weave it themselves.
A little while later, someone invented the sewing machine rendering the whole process much easier.
As the ’70s rolled around, people started coming up with what is today referred to as “new trends” as they started identifying apparel as a new form of “self-expression”.
Today we find ourselves naturally drawn to have the desire to always be up to date with the “hottest styles”, and to be up to date with what (or who) our favorite celebrities are wearing.
However, we all know how painful high-end brands can be to our bank accounts, this brings us to fetching for cheaper alternatives; which also allows us to dress up like the way we’re inspired to!
Thus, Fast Fashion was born.
What Does Fast Fashion Really Mean?
Fast fashion is simply defined as inexpensive, fashionable clothes that are sampled or “copycats” of high-end designs from brands. These clothes are manufactured and displayed for sale in mall store shelves directly from the fashion week runways, faster than the speed of light.
A while back, my best friend and I were walking around Cairo Festival when we spotted a mimic design of a Versace print dress shirt at Zara pricing around 800 EGP; which is basically peanuts compared to the price of the original piece roughly pricing more than 17,000EGP.
So, How Do We Spot A Fast Fashion Brand?
There are a few important points to keep in mind while assessing whether the brand in question is considered to be a fast-fashion brand.
- The material is of low quality and damages easily.
- Hundreds of “Latest Trend” designs available.
- “Limited Edition Collection” pushing people to make fast decisions as the item might not be available later in time.
- Unsustainable and not following a certain ethical criterion. There will be a coming up article about this.
- The above refers to most of the stores we find in malls in Egypt.
However, on a more heartful note; this brings us to introducing “Slow Fashion”.
As best described by Emilia Wik: “Slow fashion is about returning to a personal relationship with fashion. One where trends and seasons don’t matter, but where your ethics and aesthetics seamlessly unite and you can escape the stress of constant consumption, focusing on the style that truly appeals to you.”
So basically, “Slow Fashion” is a more mindfully conscious type of Fashion, where quality is put over quantity.
It is a different approach in which designers, as well as consumers, are equally aware of the impacts of products on workers, communities, and ecosystems; therefore, creating, manufacturing, buying and living more consciously.
Since we’ve been living under the spell of Fast Fashion for many decades, as a society we became more unaware of what true quality is and overlooked how simplicity is the key.
Here Is a Small Guide on How to Implement a Slow Fashion Approach
- Consider buying vintage and second-hand apparel.
- Swap items with your best friend.
- Take apparel purchase as an investment: buy higher quality items.
- Shop Local! – we have so many ethical brands in Egypt that are so unique.
- Choose timeless apparel items.
- Treat your wardrobe items as forever reusable items.
- Love what you own, be creative, mix and match.
- Always prioritize quality over quantity.
The whole idea is about finding out a unique style not necessarily following any trends and distinguishing the high quality and ethical clothing from otherwise, fast fashion clothing; for the sake of style, manufacturers, bank account and planet earth.
Share this too with your friends to increase their awareness of what Fast Fashion is.
Stay tuned for more upcoming guides on how to spot high-quality clothes, develop your personal style, and build a FIRE wardrobe to set you free of all the negative consequences of fast fashion.