The fast fashion industry

Charles Etoroma picture

You should care about where your clothes are coming from…

Let me be real honest for a second. I, Mackenzie the intern, have never really given too much thought about our environment, the way we take care of it and if it may or may not have an effect on others. Of course, I wouldn’t litter or anything like that but other than that I really didn’t think about it until recently. 

Starting out my internship with Home Free Tees, Anika had me watch the documentary The True Cost. Watching this documentary opened my eyes to a concept called Fast Fashion.  

Fast fashion can be defined as an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers. 

Now this might seem like an awesome thing because we first world people want things fast and cheap, but it’s not. The effect that fast-fashion has on the people making these clothes and the environment is crazy ridiculous. Conditions in the factories that make these clothes are horrible. Employees are expected to make a lot and are paid very little for their work. Essentially, it’s quantity over quality. And in return people get rid of clothes quicker because they must have the hot new item. 

Retail companies (Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Cotton On and Topshop just to name a few) all over the world are partaking in this concept because they benefit big time from it while people in third-world countries and the environment suffer the consequences.   

Now, I’m not saying you should go out and boycott these companies but maybe next time you’re shopping at one, stop and think about what you’re considering buying. I have a few tips that will hopefully help you out.   

  1.  Will you wear this article of clothing several times?

    Will you actually wear this shirt, pair of pants or shoes for a long time? If it’s something that you would probably only wear for a couple weeks or even months, then you probably don’t need it.

  2. Think about where you’re clothing might end up when you’re getting rid of it.

    I highly encourage donating your clothing to local shelters or thrift stores, but they also don’t want your clothing that is torn up because it will more than likely end up in the trash. There are places that will take them and properly recycle them. You could also search Pinterest for some awesome DIY projects for your old clothing.

    Side note: Donate/sell your blank shirts to Home Free Tees so that they can become super awesome t-shirts!

  3. Do your research.

    I have barely scratched the surface on this topic, so I highly encourage you to do your own research. Start with watching The True Cost (it’s available on Netflix) and checking out their website truecostmovie.com. Also, research companies that are trying to combat the fast-fashion industries. There are some really great ones out there.