Here’s How to Combat the “Fast-Fashion” Crisis

You’ve most likely heard of the term “fast fashion” before. If not, it’s not a term of endearment in the industry these days. 

Fast fashion is the concept of:

  1. Identifying a trend in the marketplace
  2. Beating that trend into a series of new designs as quickly as possible
  3. Forgoing much of the prep work of pattern making, editing, adjusting and fitting the pieces
  4. Setting up shop overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor
  5. And producing this new “season” of clothing as fast as humanly possible, with no regard to quality or lasting power.

Because of the quick turnaround time for this process, it makes the longevity of clothing shrink drastically. According to an NPR article, there are now “11 or 15 or more” seasons of fashion each year.

Think about that, on average whatever you buy will have a lifetime of 24 days before it is “unfashionable.”

Now, “fast fashion” is often just a term used loosely as a synonym for “cheap.” As you can see, that’s a somewhat fair representation of what it really is. But this fad is far more dangerous than just a series of “cheap” designs.

By not spending time on quality – and that means both fabric and durability in stitch design – you are bound to end up with clothing that falls apart or fails to flatter after a single wear.

By not getting the style, fit and stitching right, it won’t even look good on you for the one time you do end up wearing it.

And most importantly, it leaves customers – people like you and me – with a closet full of useless trash, we’ll never wear again.

Now, it doesn’t take much thought to see what happens next.

You end up leaving it in your closet, untouched for a few years. Eventually, you pack it up and give it away or even throw it away. But the quality is so bad, there’s no real way to recycle or reuse these pieces of clothing. It’s just plain garbage at that point.

Don’t take it from me. The EPA estimates that Americans (not including the rest of the world) throw away 14 million tons of clothing each year. That’s 80 pounds per person. Those same numbers translate into about 7.3 million cars worth of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Because, yeah, clothing often includes toxic material and textiles were never known for the environmental safety.

Now, there are recycling programs available. The giant retailer H&M has traditionally been a major “fast fashion” problem. But it’s making steps to clean up its act, with a drive to recycle its clothing. It will reuse some material its customers turn back in. But that’s still a pebble in this ocean of environmental hazards.

Instead, we ask you to think differently about this whole problem. Why should anyone buy cheap clothing of low quality in the first place?

The one and only true solution to this problem is to start thinking about your wardrobe as an investment. You make investments in everything from your vehicle to your mobile phone plan. Why not what you wear every day. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend a fortune to do that.

At DNA Design Collective, that’s how we are building our lines. We mill our fabric here LA. We make an investment in it to ensure that it comes out as high-quality material.

We have an excellent designer, pattern maker and fit expert to ensure that the clothes we make fit right and have longevity.

We stitch and produce the final pieces right here in LA, as well, to ensure we are overseeing the whole process and can verify the quality of each article of clothing we make.

And we also build in extra seam allowances and material so over the many years, this investment can grow or shrink with your body. That’s how you invest in a wardrobe and stay away from the problems associated with this fast fashion fad.

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