Photo by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Fast Fashion


The environmental impact of "fast fashion" is becoming harder to ignore.  Some quotes from today's Times <https://nyti.ms/2lC0jFZ>:

  • Zara, whose business model[ is] based on selling low-priced items at high volumes... releases 20,000 new designs a year.
  • Fast fashions are constructed so that they typically last no more than 10 wearings. <Source>.
  • The chemicals used in making, dyeing and treating many fabrics are so harmful that the E.P.A. regulates many textile factories as hazardous waste generators.
And on keeping clothes:
  • Clothes made from a long fiber cotton, like Pima cotton, tend to be more durable but more expensive.
  •  “[Y]ou need to learn how to care for your item if you care about sustainability."

33 comments:

  1. I'm about the polar opposite of "fast fashion." I keep clothes long past the point where my wife says things like, "Don't you want to open up some room in that closet? I see holes in some things..."

    Find a daily "uniform" that suits you and most of your activities, buy in reasonable quantity, then stick to it. And you're done.

    What's that? No, I'm not a fashion fan.... Never have been.

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  2. The VAST majority of people are paying so VERY little attention to what you or I are wearing. A small number are paying mild notice.

    And what mainly catches their eye are fit and quality (or lack thereof), not variety.

    NCJack

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    1. Jack, you're probably right that people don't pay much attention to the clothing but obviously there are many more people who pay attention to brand labels which is why companies now put huge ugly logos on anything they can. This reminds me of that old adage of ' putting lipstick on a pig'. An LL Bean customer and I complained in our reviews that we didn't like the logos on the clothing and several other shoppers verbally assaulted us for shopping at such a high end store ( hahahaha) and not wanting to wear their label. I can't respond to that kind of thinking. Could someone please explain the appeal of LV bags? Women crave Louis Vuitton bags and are willing to pay thousands of dollars for one bag that looks like every other woman's LV bag. I think women can rent the bags and other trendy clothing as well.
      The good news is that we'll probably never see a Kardashian carrying a Lotuff.

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    2. I have never understood the appeal of the LV logo bags (or any other legible merchandise). The bags are expensive, and I think the real label says "insecure."

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    3. You might find this entertaining and informative from BBC Three, Secrets of the Super Brands(Fashion) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd7lfcnlb9c&t=424s

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    4. I too, have never understood LV. Why would you want to carry a bag with someone else’s initials? My favorite bag was produced years ago by Lochcarron. Made in Scotland, it has tartan panels and leather trim. With gentle care, it has lasted for years, and has not a logo to be found, save for a discreet tag sewn to the liner.

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    5. Why do men drive fancy big name cars? Or wear fancy big name watches? The fancy handbag to some women is what the fancy car is to some men.

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    6. What a bizarre question, Anon 8:07. The notion of only men driving "fancy big name cars" or wear "fancy big name watches" can be dispensed with during any visit to any "fancy big name" city with a lot of shops.

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    7. Thank you so much for the link to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd7lfcnlb9c&t=424s. Very worth watching.

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  3. Only intended for 10 wearings? Wow, such a disgrace. If it were not for cheap shoddy goods, we'd have no economy at all. I have a light bulb from the 1980's in my kitchen that I use every day and I've never replaced it! I know most people hate ironing but I won't wear wrinkle-free anything because of the chemicals used to treat the fabric. Convenience comes at a hefty price.

    I'm like anonymous above in that I oppose fast fashion. My husband and I have a fear of letting go of any of our ancient clothing because of the steady decline in quality for the past twenty years. He still wears pants and shirts and shoes he purchased in the 90's. The hideous styles are bad enough but the spandex-laden clothing poses health risks to us and the environment.

    In case anyone is interested, The Great and British Knitwear company on Amazon sells their Hawick, Scotland made lambswool sweaters at a fantastic price for both men and women. I am not fond of Amazon either and make the effort to avoid them but sometimes it serves me well for things like these sweaters. I just ordered two more. They are staples in our wardrobe that will last a lifetime.

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    1. Anon @ 12:27: May I ask why you are not fond of Amazon? I'm not criticizing, I'm just curious as to yours and anyone else's thoughts about it. Is it because they are a huge conglomerate, quality, or are there other reasons? Thank you in advance for your reply.

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    2. I can't speak for the previous comment, but in my mind Amazon has become the Walmart of today - a huge company that forces smaller retailers out of the market.

      Amazon Prime makes it ridiculously easy to click and order, which I think contributes to a huge over consumption problem. I have seen Instagram photos of porches stacked with 20+ Amazon boxes (the photo I'm thinking of in particular was from an "influencer" who makes his living on the New England prep aesthetic), as if this is some kind of badge of honor. No one needs every item imaginable immediately at his/her fingertips.

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    3. Thank you for your reply, Emily. I'm not trying to defend in any way, I was only curious as to the reasoning. And your comment is very sound, and I completely agree. I hadn't thought of the influencer aspect, but my eyes have been opened. I also took a moment to do my own research on Google after I asked that question, and I realize now I should have done that first. Again, thank you for the reply.

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    4. To address your question Anon ( I wrote the original comment), Emily answered it for me perfectly.
      To add one more dislike of Amazon, the environmental impact from all the transportation needed to deliver and return these items is simply irresponsible.
      RE: Google...I dumped them a few years ago for many reasons. I don't use their email, search engine or anything else they offer.

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  4. I forgot to mention that CBC Marketplace covered a story on fast fashion last year. Here's the link if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elU32XNj8PM

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  5. If you feel great & comfortable in a uniform, that's excellent advice!

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  6. Maybe the nudists have a point after all.

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  7. We like Woolovers for their natural fabrics and good quality at surprisingly low prices. We purchase traditional styles because they suit us. We buy quality because it lasts. No interest in the newest fast-fashion trends!

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  8. When it comes to clothes, my motto is "Don't be afraid to be boring".

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    1. Ha ha. Love it!

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    2. I’m with you. Loving the comments.
      MaryAnne

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  9. I strongly oppose fast fashion. Do I want to own a garment that falls apart after wearing it 10 times? No thanks! I like quality, classic clothing that I can wear for years to come.

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  10. Zara is not a fast fashion brand. It just sells a limited number of its ever-changing designs. Each store's stock reflects the local market. Most of Zara's garments are made in its own factories, notably Spain. Massimo Dutti, its menswear brand, has factories in Spain too. The vertical integration keeps costs and prices down.

    Garments made from pima cotton can be bought at reasonable prices. For example, I wear Uniqlo's pima cotton t-shirts by the pool and on the beach. They are around a quarter of the price of similar t-shirts from preppy brands like Gant and Polo RL. And Uniqlo tees are better, both in terms quality and fit. It's the brand marketing, not the production cost, that pushes up the prices of Gant, PRL etc.

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    1. I beg to differ. Zara clothes are incredibly poorly made.

      By its own admission the company sells 20,000 new designs a year. That is the very definition of fast fashion - keep churning out new, cheap designs to keep customers buying.

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    2. Emily, one of the first stores shown in the CBC episode I mentioned above is Zara. I had never heard of Zara until Muffy's post. I don't shop at malls and I gather from the show that Zara is a mall store.

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    3. Oh please. Zara is one step up from garments made out of plastic garbage bags. They're a terrible company, and famous for their bad quality. Even teenagers know it's a fast fashion brand, for God's sake.

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    4. I concur with Anonymous 9/26. We have a Zara store in our local shopping center. While the store presents an upscale appearance, upon entering you can immediately smell the strong polyester/man-made fiber scent. Many items have poor stitching and finish. After an initial fascination, my wife and teenage daughter have moved on from Zara.

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  11. A fair amount of my clothing is at least 20 years old and some older than that. I have sweaters and silk scarves and some fantastic tweed jackets that came from my Mummy and Grand mum. With proper care they will last for many years more. I don't follow fashion and never have.

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  12. Some of the major UK online retailers such as In The Style, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing, BooHoo etc. release new collections every two weeks!

    I really don't know what happened to the human race to find this kind of business model acceptable. Instagram has a lot to answer for. I just find the whole concept tacky and downright irresponsible.

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  13. "Environmental impact" is being ridiculously exaggerated and overplayed because it enables virtue-signaling in this newly secular world while requiring no painful penance. I've yet to see a single Patagonia puffer who eschews air travel, cars, or lives in a house without central heating taking ice-cold basin baths. The public demands cheap, disposable junk--so cheap, disposable junk it gets. And most of the sheeple don't "think" any deeper than the tacky bimbos on Instagram.

    I'm presently wearing a threadbare, holey, impressively faded BB polo shirt that dates from the early 90's. A couple of days ago I wore an old favorite, an Izod Club golf shirt known to have been purchased in 1988 at the old Decker's (RIP!) in Norwalk, CT. Still have tons of stuff that old. Not because I'm "Saving the Planet" (cue George Carlin!) but because older high quality lasts a long, long time. Also, I'm cheap! Mainstream fashion has nothing to offer a woman of my age who does not wish to appear ridiculous, or TTFW, or culturally appropriating, or just plain ick.

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