Fast fashion is a phenomenon in the fashion industry where production costs are lowered and production processes are expedited in order to get new, current merchandise to consumers as cheaply and quickly as possible.
Traditionally, fashion lines have been released seasonally. However, in fast fashion retailers, new trends are hung on racks on a weekly, even daily, basis. Fast fashion retailers are able to mass produce trendy clothing for dirt-cheap prices by sourcing inexpensive labor and using low-quality fabrics and means of production.
Here are some alternatives to fast-fashion retailers like Forever 21, H&M and Zara.
- One of my personal favorite alternatives to fast fashion is thrift shopping. By thrift shopping, you are extending the life of a garment and helping curb the amount of clothes in landfills. Also, many thrift stores benefit the community and local charities.
- Some of my favorite thrift stores include: Goodwill, Genesis Benefit Thrift Store (3419 Knight Street (Knight and Lemmon Avenue) Dallas, TX 75219, St. Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Store (3052 W. Northwest Highway), Buffalo Exchange, and Thrift Town (1516 S Westmoreland Rd, Dallas) Cost: Depending on where you shop and what you’re looking for, $-$$$
- There are also online thrift stores, such as ThredUp or Swap, both of which offers clothing from hundreds of brands and in every size.
- Patagonia sources labor from factories that are Free Trade certified and focuses on making clothes that are durable and long-lasting. Patagonia even has a program to repair clothes that have become worn and recycle garments that are no longer wearable. Patagonia has fleeces, dresses, t-shirts and practically everything else needed to build a wardrobe. Cost: $$-$$$
How is your clothing made? Hewage Madusha Priyanthi works in the @fairtradeusa certified Hirdaramani Factory in Agalawatte, Sri Lanka. This sewing factory makes many of our knit sportswear styles and their worker committee voted to spend their first premium funds from us on establishing a child care center nearby. Click the link in our profile to learn more about where your clothes come from. Photo: @_timdavis_
- Everlane is exceptionally transparent when it comes to their supply chain. They build personal relationships with free-trade factories and reveal to customers the true cost of producing a garment. Everlane has clothing collections for men, women and children. Everlane sells primarily basics and classic wardrobe staples, such as turtlenecks, t-shirts and jeans. However, don’t be fooled by the minimalism of the brand’s pieces- they’re unique, extremely high-quality and will last a lifetime. Cost: $$-$$$
A photo posted by Everlane (@everlane) on
- TOMS is a shoe-company famous for their “Buy One Give One” initiative. When a customer buys a pair of shoes, a pair is donated to someone in need. However, this is not the only way that TOMS gives back. TOMS creates jobs by manufacturing and sourcing labor from countries where they also give, hiring artists in developing countries to produce designs and invests in other socially-conscious business ventures. While the brand started as simply shoes, it has expanded into clothes, jewelry and accessories. They have also expanded the “Buy One Give One” initiative into their eyewear collection.
- Oliberte is known as the world’’s first and only fair-trade certified footwear manufacturing company. This company is based in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia, and has a passion for the rights of workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The brand is transparent about where they’re resources are coming from and the quality of their factory and products. The company employs over 70 people, 60% of which are women. The shoes are of the highest-quality and come with a lifetime warranty. This is a company truly dedicated to maintaining sustainable and ethical fashion. Cost: $$-$$$
- Good Cloth is an online marketplace that is dedicated to promoting and selling ethical fashion. There is something for everyone on this website, whether you’re searching for a new dress or a t-shirt for your brother. My favorite feature of the website is that it allows shoppers to shop based on ethics, such as “Made in America,” “Vegan” or “Recycled.”