Why Do People Buy
Fast Fashion If It's Bad?
What Is The Meaning Of Fast Fashion?
Before we understand why people buy fast fashion, we need to clarify what fast fashion is first. Fast fashion definitions do vary and can be confusing, so here's our summary.
It's an overarching term used to describe mass-produced fashion that focuses on creating endless trends and seasons - these garments are often made in unethical working conditions with no regard to the impact on our planet. It's where hyper-consumerism and fashion meet.
Why Is Fast Fashion Bad?
Here are some stats to help you appreciate the gravity of the situation:
• 87% of female garment workers in Pakistan are paid below a minimum wage
• The fashion industry is responsible for around 10% of the world's carbon emissions, and
• There are 260 million child labourers
These stats are just one of many that exemplify why fast fashion is so bad and evil - yet we still have friends who continue to support fast fashion brands in Australia.
Discover four factors that create resistance to slow fashion so that you can help steer your friends in the right direction. Knowledge is power and we hope to empower you with some extra wisdom today!
1. Lack of Education
The most common factor is a lack of knowledge on the severity of the issue. Most people are aware that the fashion industry is far from perfect, but many people don't realise the millions of workers, families and animals greatly impacted.
We believe that everyone has an 'information threshold'. This is when someone learns so much about a topic that they feel compelled to act in a more considered way. Something similar probably happened to you at the start of your slow fashion journey - was it an article? A friend? Or maybe the True Cost documentary?
Whatever it is, make sure that the focus is to educate and not make the other person feel bad. Be respectful and don't force the issue. Link some key resources or share some social media posts so that they can better understand the issue - with the plan to educate them enough so that they feel compelled to make improvements.
Go to any shopping centre or shop online in Australia, and you'll see fast fashion is EVERYWHERE. It's the easiest choice to make and a key reason why many people continue to shop the same fast fashion brands.
Alternatively, slow fashion shopping requires research, assessing if you'll wear it 30+ times, analysing the material, etc. These things take time and you rarely make impulse purchases whilst being a slow fashion shopper.
Find out from your friends convenience is the key factor. Do they want to shop ethical brands but can't find them? Do they know where to look? Find out if this is the case and present your slow fashion solutions!
This factor was a prime motivator for creating Stride. We wanted to make slow fashion in Australia to be just as convenient as fast fashion. We've brought together over 100 local brands so that Stride can be your go-to destination for slow fashion... plus we offer free shipping 😃
3. Can't Afford It
Say what you want about fast fashion, but arguably its biggest drawcard is that it's cheap. Worryingly cheap. It's vital that we don't always assume people can afford the slow fashion alternative. They may want to consume better, but their bank account creates an obstacle.
Although slow fashion isn't always more expensive, we can't enforce our own privileged financial positions on those who are struggling to pay rent or afford their groceries; everyone is different. Please respect and consider this with your friends.
So what's the solution? To these people, we recommend op shopping! Not only is it even cheaper than fast fashion, but it's great for our environment too as you are extending the life of the garment (and saving it from being dumped into landfill).
You can find some hidden gems, save money and help our planet all at the same time... now that's a great combo! For op shopping inspiration, check out Bonnie from Opsessed on Instagram or her website.
4. Fear of Judgement
Most slow fashion enthusiasts were once guilty of shopping fast fashion... and that's completely fine. It's how most of our friends and family shop, it's what we see on social media, and it's what we see the world's celebrities wearing.
It's the norm.
And a lot of people feel anxious about challenging the status quo due to the fear of judgement or criticism. It can be tough to say no to the shopping spree with your friends at Zara on the weekend, or not getting sucked in to doing a shopping haul with ASOS's latest bargains... you're only human.
It's hard to out-train habits that we've learned for years and habits that have been perpetuated by influencer culture. Your friends may want to change morally, but they are scared of being judged if they go against the grain.
Let them know that you support them and help them make small changes in becoming a more conscious consumer.
There's more than four reasons as to why good people don't embrace slow fashion, but these were the top factors that we've encountered.
It's also important to ask questions to our friends and genuinely listening to their response - not just listening to reply. This will ensure that you tailor your approach to their needs. We can help our friends and family match what they believe with what they buy via education & support.
Not by ridicule and putting undue pressure on them.
We hope that you enjoyed our article and we are always open to refining our list. Do let us know if we've missed anything or if we can further elaborate upon any of the points.
What factor do you think is most common?