How Much Of The Fashion Industry Is Fast Fashion
Fast fashion is a term used to describe a highly profitable business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs. But how much of the fashion industry is like this?
This article will discuss the fashion industry and fast fashion.
What is fast fashion?
In the fashion industry, fast fashion is defined as a style cycle, according to Fashionista, which comprises:
The 'height of the season, which typically runs for five to seven weeks.
This is the time of the year when high-end designers have their main collections, and often feature the best and most prominent designs.
The rest of the year, we are more likely to see an end-of-season collection, however, fashionistas often keep the look and style, because it's a 'good investment'.
These 'heroes' have dominated the industry for the past few years.
These famous brands, which were established in the 1970s, and have been profitable by producing limited-edition merchandise and selling through websites.
To make a profit, they are always on the lookout for new fashion trends that make them money. This includes replicating the trends of the runway and flooding the market with copies of their designs.
As soon as they are worn, the styles are sold out by the thousands and are more expensive than if they were in store.
Are fashionistas following this trend?
According to a 2016 survey, conducted by the NPD Group, about 56 percent of the UK population has purchased clothes from fast fashion stores, and 36 percent have purchased clothing from them within the past year.
Surprisingly, people think that a majority of people follow fast fashion, and actually buy it too, but in the fashion industry really fast?
In the same study, about 30 percent admitted to having purchased clothes from fast fashion stores within the past year.
The majority of people purchase items from high-end stores but look for fashion trends.
During the height of summer, people buy the same summer outfit in their new wardrobe.
But, they may actually want to change their look once the warmer months come around again. People feel that they are limited to buying the same outfits over and over again.
However, this is a misconception. Several fashion brands produce 'fast fashion' clothing for sale in high-end and designer boutiques.
Why is fashion happening this fast?
At the moment, fast fashion companies buy products from high-end clothing designers and designers and ship them to their factories.
Their process is similar to making ready-to-wear, as it requires fabric and sewing techniques. The designers are paid little, if anything, for their designs, which results in there is a lot of excess stock.
As a result, these excess designs are sent to discount stores such as New Look and posted online.
The retailers buy them up to make a profit, and sell the items in their stores. The fast fashion stores then repackage the clothes and add their own labels, such as cut-price labels.
This process usually happens once a month, or when the designs are made.
Although they produce their own merchandise, fast fashion stores tend to copy designer labels. To compete with each other, they also create their own ranges of clothing that may be more suited for the average consumer.
Rising prices, and how to keep up
Fast fashion has been criticized in the past for cheap prices. This includes a young boy from China who was scolded by his mum for wearing the same clothes every day.
In the recent 2017 Forbes interview, Jaymee Bamber, creative director of UNIQLO, said:
"Fast fashion makes us all look the same; there is no expression, no uniqueness. It's now possible to produce clothing in such large quantities that we now have the ability to create the trends of the future regularly."
The process of producing more fast fashion has led to a price increase, as well as the rise of resellers who sell the same items from the new season at a cheaper price.
In 2016, the collapse of UK fashion retailer, BHS, saw an increase in the selling of off-price retail.
Cutting down on fast-fashion
Fast fashion leads to an increase in clothing production, which has contributed to an increase in the number of people in the world who live in poverty.
In some countries, fast fashion production has led to the closure of factories and the outsourcing of jobs. This has led to governments enacting laws to protect workers, such as paying them at least minimum wage.
It has also led to environmental policies, which try to protect the world’s limited resources.
Targeting the consumer
Another way of reducing the number of clothes we produce is to encourage people to buy more clothes that are ‘good for the planet’.
This has been tried by some clothing manufacturers. VF Corporation, which owns the North Face, will donate 100 percent of profits from its outerwear to environmental causes.
Can we avoid the trend?
One way to avoid the trend is to become a trendsetter, which is what Kendall Jenner did.
She went back to the trend of black t-shirts, and people wore them all summer.
Another way to avoid the trend is to be particular about what you wear, as well as by classic pieces.
For example, if you are a workwear consultant, and you wear different colored shoes to your work environment, it is more classic.