A Quick Take on Fast Fashion
The busy street of Ste-Catherine gathers many teens and adults to embark on shopping trips. A variety of stores are all along the street, and typically the popular stores get the most attention. As people find their way in the widely known store, H&M, the crowds get bigger, and the checkout line seems never-ending. The clothing displays have gone awry, and the retail workers are trailing behind everyone, fixing the displays that were ruined. “I want to go to H&M to get one of the hoodies from their conscious collection, they make them with more eco-friendly products”, says my older brother, Jacob.
H&M’s “Conscious Collection” is an eye catcher, with an aesthetically visual sage green tag brandishing the words “made with 72% sustainable products!”. It’s a captivating and appealing marketing technique, to see a sustainable item of clothing at a reasonable price. Fashion is fun and is more fun when it’s ethical. And for one of the biggest fast fashion companies, it’s quite remarkable to see those sustainability efforts.
Fast fashion is known to be one of the biggest factors to a deteriorating and hazardous environment, due to the trends that emerge as these companies try to replicate the trends quickly – creating so much waste in the process. In the book Fashionopolis: Why What We Wear Matters, , fashion and culture journalist Dana Thomas states that “of the more than 100 billion items of clothing produced each year, 20 percent go unsold...leftovers are usually buried, shredded, or incinerated”. New styles have come into 2022, and one specific trend is that of a minimalist wardrobe. A lot of consumers are now trying to purchase timeless basics to preserve the need for buying clothes just to fit into the micro-trends that are seen while scrolling through Pinterest and TikTok.
One common classic outfit is a pair of denim jeans matched with a white tee and some classic sneakers. This basic style tends to get hated on, but is a staple outfit that can be worn in many ways, which is why so many people have cut down their wardrobes to these essentials. “I see so many people wearing simple and minimal outfits, which isn’t my personal style, but I still love to see it because it means that people are being more mindful of their purchases”, says Dawson student, Gina Bonhomme. It’s important to acknowledge that no matter what your own personal style is, there are also alternatives for a more sustainable style, and many people have now joined in.
“Most of my wardrobe comes from a thrift store. This cardigan I’m wearing right now probably belonged to someone’s grandfather”, says Gina. Thrift stores’ popularity has skyrocketed, whether shopping is done as a nice pastime activity with friends, or if it’s someone's go-to store. Thrifting has shifted fashion for the better as people can find second-hand clothing for cheap, which preserves the environment and has you coming home with an article of clothing like no other.
Sustainable fashion used to be quite inaccessible; Small businesses that sell eco-friendly clothing generally charge more due to the longer time it takes to produce their garments. But now, because shopping ethically has gained so much popularity, even fast-fashion brands are trying to adopt collections with ethically made clothing, making it a more accessible option.
Not only was the lack of accessibility an issue, but also the lack of awareness. Now that so many options for sustainability are out there, it is much more accessible. As of now, many influencers advertise sustainability which empowers ethical shopping. There are also efforts being made to create sustainable fashion shows, and attention is being brought to the unique experience of thrifting. No matter your style and preferences, there are tools for supporting sustainable wear. We can slowly say goodbye to contributing to micro-trends, and start saying hello to fashion more personal to ourselves.