how does fast fashion affect the economy? not as good as many people think
what does fast fashion mean?
Fast-Fashion can be referred to as a business model that quickly turns trends into clothes using very short manufacturing cycles with no regard to the environment, the people, and the society.
We have to say, there is no „fast fashion book”, and this terrible practice comes in many shapes and forms, but they all have many things in common and that’s why they are all gathered around this term.
This is done with the intent to get the freshest styles into the market that will keep customers buying more and more while tragically disposing of the clothes they do not use, clothes that usually do not last a lot of time because of their low-quality materials.
This business practice has a lot of terrible consequences theat we will talk about later, but if you want to dig deeper into this feel free to read is fast-fashion a social issue?.
how does fast fashion affect the economy?
Fast Fashion in itself is part of the economy, but to understand its true impact and meaning, we first need to define what an economy is: An economy is responsible for turning finite resources into goods and services with the mission of satisfying a society’s infinite needs. Its primary goal is to increase productivity, producing more using fewer resources, the goal of an economy is not to produce jobs, as this is a concept created by modern society.
Now that we know what an economy is, what is the impact of the Fast Fashion industry on it, is it any good or should it be changed? Currently, the Fast Fashion industry represents a good chunk of the world’s economic production, which is not surprising considering the need for clothes is one of the most basic necessities of a human being.
However, this industry is not as productive as many people think, and it does not add at much value as its more sustainable homologs. The industry disguises its unproductivity by outsourcing its costs to the environment and its workers, which is why many activists are standing against it.
Overall, even if Fast Fashion is an industry that has a lot of relevance in our economy, it doesn’t add to the overall productivity, which causes it to not only damage our environment and exploit its workers but also slow down the potential economic benefit a more productive industry would have.
how fast fashion is affecting the development of producing countries
We have seen how the industry is quite unproductive, which makes it try and disguise it and outsource its costs to the environment and workers to try and stay competitive. But, what is its true impact on the developing countries?
We first have to note that the fashion industry has contributed to the growth and development of many nations in the past, give some examples: Singapore and South Korea were very poor underdeveloped countries in the 1950s and 60s, but with good economic policies and foreign investments they have developed to the point they are today, and partly thanks to their strong textile industry.
But this was before Fast Fashion was a thing, and the impact of this new way of producing garments is quite worse than the traditional textile industry. As we said before, Fast Fashion is a quite low-added value industry, its extremely low prices force the factories to not be able to pay livable wages to their workers, which makes savings and investments harder to achieve in the producing countries, which also makes the development of those nations a lot slower than it should.
If you feel lost already don’t worry, we will try to summarize all of this with more digestible words to make it easier to understand. Basically, the low-priced Fast Fashion industry not only damages the environment and exploits its workers in order to produce its garments, but its production model also doesn’t contribute to the growth and development of the countries that produce its garments.
what can we do to change it?
Now that you know how Fast Fashion doesn’t even benefit the economy, you may wonder what you can do to change this situation, how to support a model that contributes to the welfare of the environment, the workers, and the fair development of producing nations?
Well, luckily there is an option for you, we are talking about Ethical Fashion. This anti-fast fashion movement promotes an industry that respects its workers, giving them livable wages and humane working conditions, fair trade, and the fair development of all regions involved in the production process.
Instead of just focusing on productive industry, it focuses on a fair price, which is basically selling its items at a price that doesn’t come from polluting the environment and exploiting the workers, that’s why it’s called a fair price because it is the correct price that the garments should be sold at without harming our society.
But how to improve productivity then? We said that Ethical Fashion focuses on fair price instead of productivity, but these two are not exclusive. Productivity increases come from investments, new technologies, and methods of production, for example, centuries ago the Norfolk system improved the crop growing productivity making it easier to feed the European population.
We have explained in many of our articles the resemblance between sustainable fashion and electric cars. When people became aware of the terrible environmental consequences of gas cars, they began demanding more electric cars, which made businesses invest in them, which increased the productivity over time, now making it possible for electric cars to directly compete with gas cars, even in price!
Overall, the best thing we can do to change this situation is to stop demanding Fast Fashion garments, and to demand more sustainable, ethical fashion garments that care about the environment and the workers, only then we will start to make a big change for the better.
We hope you have learned today the economic impact of Fast Fashion, many people think that it has a positive impact because of its size, but this is not really the truth. If you want to know more about this subject, we have prepared a ton of content for you to read, you can find some of the links below.
We are thrilled to teach people all around the world 🙂 Also, did you really know what Fast Fashion really is and its terrible consequences for the environment, the planet, the workers, society, and the economy? Do you know exactly what the Slow Fashion or Sustainable Fashion movement is? You should really take a look at these articles about this forgotten and unknown but very urgent and important subject, click here to read „Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?”, Sustainable Fashion, Ethical Fashion, Slow Fashion or Fast Fashion 101 | How It’s Destroying Our Planet because knowledge is one of the most powerful strengths you can have, while ignorance is your worst weakness.
We also have a big surprise for you! Because we want to give you the right to know us better, we have prepared a carefully dedicated About Us page where we will tell you who we are, what our mission is, what we do, a closer look at our team, and many more things! Do not miss this opportunity and click here to check it out. Also, we invite you to take a look at our Pinterest, where we will pin everyday sustainable fashion-related content, clothing designs, and other things that you will surely love!