Fast Fashion: What is it and what can be done about it?

Fast Fashion: What is it and what can be done about it?

The term fast fashion refers to the quick and mass production of clothing made with cheap materials and with poor quality, which leads to a rather disposable end result. While clothing made this way is inexpensive when it comes to the price tag, the actual price is much higher because it negatively impacts the planet. Christopher J. Apparel takes a look at the fast fashion phenomenon, and what style-savvy shoppers can do to help stop the spread.

Fast fashion is an attempt from some companies to keep up with ever-changing trends and to keep shoppers constantly coming back for more. The fashion industry has exploded and globally, there is an annual consumption of approximately 80 billion new pieces of clothing … this is a 400 percent increase since 2000, according to

The problem with this is it has an extreme impact on the environment. An article on Princeton University’s website breaks it down in no uncertain terms with statistics. The article reports that the “fashion industry consumes one tenth of all the water used industrially to run factories and clean products.” Other hard numbers:

-20 percent of the wastewater worldwide is attributed to production as well as toxic chemicals from textile dyeing ending up in the ocean
-57 percent of all discarded clothing ends up in landfill
-a 50 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions is expected in the next decade if industry trends continue

But it doesn’t have to be this way. And consumers can help change the course of fast fashion and eliminate it for good. It starts with smart and responsible shopping. Shoppers can look for not only good quality brands that will stand the test of time (and flash in the pan fashion trends!), they can seek out companies that use sustainable materials and environmentally friendly methods to produce their clothing.

Think less is more… but remember quality is king. A few high-quality everyday staples can serve as the foundation of a great wardrobe and can be worn from day to night and styled up or down, depending on the occasion. The same staple pieces from a high-quality line can be endlessly styled for years to come.

Another smart way to avoid fast fashion is to give old clothing new life by taking it to a consignment shop or donating it to a shelter or other non-profit organization or recycling it. Old soft t-shirts make great cleaning rags after years of wear, for example. Or for a truly one-of-a-kind standout piece, scour vintage stores before heading to the department store or discount clothing store.

Christopher J. Apparel proudly works to be as sustainable as possible in production and utilizes eco-friendly materials that require a fraction of the amount of water to produce including Tencel, a luxuriously soft and durable material that is actually biodegradable. So after years of wear, consumers can literally compost their old CJA clothing. Talk about eco-friendly!

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