Fast fashion = Bad for everyone
A few weeks ago, FlopsyShop.ie attended the 'All that glitters can be green' event. This was a festive slow fashion event organized by Green Shoe Events and consisted of a series of speakers and a small number of exhibitors that showcased their products.
One of the talks was labeled 'The devil wears Primark' by Emma Gleeson (Give up your aul things), and it was an interesting talk about how fast fashion is creating not only bad working environments but also a lot of waste. Cheap clothes basically will not last as well as are very prone to the seasonal trends. This makes them much easier to discard as we don't have an emotional attachment to them.
Enter, the charity shop donation. Guess, what, they really don't want the fast fashion low-quality items. There is no resale value in it for them. So what happens next? The clothes get sold in bulk as shipped off to 'countries in need'. Oxfam UK ships over half (5.6 tonnes) of their clothes donations to these countries - source.
Hoorah, you'd say, job well done, well, not so much. These clothes also are of no use to them. In fact, it actually puts local companies out of business. Hence some local terms like "obroni wawu" (clothes of the dead white man) in Ghana or "mupedzanhamo" (where all problems end) in Zimbabwe to describe these kinds of clothes.
Even traditional markets for used clothes, such as poor parts of Asia and Africa, are rejecting forward fashion-wear as too shoddy. source
What can you do instead?
It is quite easy actually. Buy less but higher quality items that last longer and that you actually wear (30% of a wardrobe does not get worn in a year). Select items from sustainable and ethical sources and ones that are not prone to trends (colors, prints etc). Examples here are Grown, Keem and Fresh Cuts (more Irish Ethical fashion here). Lastly, find the pre-loved boutique shops like Siopaella, The Golden Child, NU wardrobe and ourselves FlopsyShop.ie . These shops aim to keep items in rotation longer and thus cut down on waste.