Go Green Gina: Fast Fashion vs Ethical Fashion

We are living in the age of fast fashion vs ethical fashion , where textile mills and design houses are now belting out new fashions almost 52 times a year instead of at the standard semi annual rate. Where the fashions are cheaper and the mentality cultivated  in consumers is one of waste. The desire for instant gratification and an embedded, incessant need for the latest ‘in’ thing means once a new trend comes in, the easily affordable fashions are now disposable before they really had a chance to get any wear really. And since the new fashions are more accessible to the masses, what’s the incentive in saving them anyway? Do we really need to over-consume like this to make us FEEL rich or successful inside? And are we taking a moment to even question what the price being paid is on the other side?

Faster fashion means more demand on production which usually means more work in less time under stressful and unsafe work conditions inviting room for deadly accidents like the notable 2012 Dhaka Fire in Bangladesh.  Textile waste, most non-biodegradable, winds up filling up landfills at an exponential rate with the average  American tossing over 800 lbs and the US population as a whole, almost 11 million tons of textile goods away each year alone. What happened to the practice of producing and consuming fashions the ethical way?

Then there’s the process of burning the textiles which releases harmful gases that pollute land, air and water. Residue wash off from toxic dyes during manufacturing births new Cancer victims at an alarming rate placing fashion as the #2 most detrimental industry second only to oil refineries and yet we seem unfazed. The cost of consumption becomes a question of concern as we consider its affects on mankind and Mother Earth at the same time.

What’s the remedy to stop the bleeding?  That will come from  the cultivation of an ECO-CONSCIOUS mindset that spreads throughout the fashion community and takes hold from the top down.  From ethical fashion production and eco-friendly fashions to Go-Green supporters and DIY enthusiasts, the saving of the planet and its natural resources has become the order of the day. At J&O-Summerdale Fabrics we encourage you to take your own steps in some small way. In the meantime, we’re sharing a few ways to say no to the fast track and support ethical fashion today.

10 Ways to Support Ethical Fashion/Ethical Fabrics

  • Check the labels and buy fair trade, eco or ethical fashion. Before you make a purchase, read the company’s website and social media pages. Do they support fair wages, safe working conditions and environmental sustainability?
  • Buy locally made. Support your neighbor and your local community.
  • Say no to fast fashion. In the battle between fast fashion vs ethical fashion, buying less and investing more in well-made items is key. Fast fashion creates a huge amount of textile wastage, because garments are tossed out and trashed before they have lived their proper life cycle.
  • Recycle: Shop at fabric stores, thrift stores and consignment stores
  • DIY , learn to sew, and re-purpose old items when you can.
  • Research your favorite brands and fabric mills for manufacturing practices.
  • Seek out ethical fashion companies
  • Attend a Swap n Shop meetup
  • Become a steward for the planet.


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