Fast fashion – a contemporary term used by fashion retailers to express that designs move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends. Emphasis is on optimizing certain aspects of the supply chain for these trends to be designed and manufactured quickly and inexpensively to allow the mainstream consumer to buy current clothing styles at a lower price. (Wikipedia)
I only recently learned the term fast fashion, but now I have a term for the clothing in stores like Forever21 and its competitors. It’s ultra-trendy and current, and chances are you’ll love it for the first 3 months but then feel so outdated wearing it after that. But, at such a low price, you can (almost) afford to cycle through your clothes at a seasonal rate.
But just because these clothes don’t add up to much on your credit card statement, doesn’t mean they don’t add up in other areas.
Your closet, for one. You keep the “BAE” sweatshirt in your closet because you only just bought it. Yet you feel like you can now only wear it ironically. It gets shoved further and further into the depths of your closet.
Meanwhile, your closet gets fuller. It becomes more difficult to fit new things in there. You’re running out of space. It doesn’t look nearly as tidy as it did after your last round of KonMari-ing.
The messier your closet gets, the more clothes start creeping down onto the floor. And now you feel just a little stressed out every time you enter your bedroom.
Let’s look at a different approach to buying clothes:
Instead of buying the mega-popular fast fashion, you opt for more classic pieces. You keep a strict standard to only buy what is flattering on your figure and your skin tone. Now everything in your closet looks amazing on you, and you can wear it for years to come. You have a minimal, capsule wardrobe that is easy to maintain in a tidy space. You enter your room feeling light and you always find something to wear.
This is how I’ve been doing things for the last year or so. Before that, I was all about fast fashion. The two things that finally got through to me were 1) reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and 2) watching this video by Mimi Ikonn, where she explains that everyone has a set of hues they are best suited to wear, and she basically gives you a sure-fire method to always look radiant. Both of these resources were absolutely life-changing (not to mention style-changing) and now I can never go back.
There’s another way fast fashion adds up, and that’s on the impact on the environment. Fast fashion is mass produced and poorly done, using cheap materials and cheap labor. The quality is terrible, which almost doesn’t matter because you throw it out before it has a chance to really fall apart. This leads to an excess of materials and, ultimately, waste.
Whether your desire to drop fast fashion is due to ethics, minimalism, or simply wanting to look and feel your best, it’s something I’m really glad I’ve done, and I hope it brings you as much peace as it’s brought me.