15.05.2017 22:45

Fast fashion - problem that many people support yet not know about

Autor: Eliška Koukalová | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

While passing a shopping centre, you may consider just a quick look around what is new in stores. Surrounded by all these shiny glass shop windows, behind which stand many mannequins, you wonder whether to enter or not. Just a brief look inside to find out what is now on trend. Don’t you need this simple T-shirt with some cute quote on it, even though you have many in your wardrobe at home? Oh, and what about these jeans, which are in sale now. It seems right to please yourself after very tough week with another piece of fabric that will wear off after few washes. It’s not a big deal, many clothes are like that nowadays, right? The variety of different styles, colours and designs is incredible, isn’t it. So much that is even overwhelming sometimes.

Foto: Eliška Koukalová

But what is not incredible at all is the truth that stands behind every piece of clothing, which has been made for short term use. Garments like this were also sewed by workers in Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. In horrible conditions, employees were making low quality clothing for insignificant payment. Last week marked fourth year since Rana Plaza building collapsed. This disaster caused 1,135 lives, which is considered as the deadliest clothing factory accident in history. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only example of harmful fast fashion consequence. “In my view, the undervalue of workers along with extreme contamination of environment are the most fundamental problems of fashion nowadays. Systematic pollution of textile industry is in fact the second biggest of all. Another thing is huge overproduction, which doesn’t help at all,” says Filip Vaculík from SALONč4. He is mainly responsible for men customers and brand comunication. 

While living in such materialistic era, stores with unique concept like SALONč4 are going upstream. Most of the garments are made in one place by people who love their job and work in fair conditions. In fact, you can even meet the team and see how your clothes are being done, choose material and so on. At first, you can share your thoughts of the final piece, then with help of the designer, you make own idea becoming true. No such piece will be seen in the streets. “With concept like ours, customer know where and whom the money goes to. They support local tailor while getting well-made clothes, which has longer life than other from fast fashion. There’s no need to support owners of big clothing companies, which are already pretty rich,” adds Filip.

According to Filip, the main solution for this problem lies in informing the public. People should realize and consider these facts while buying clothes. They should at least know the real price paid by poor people employed in factories for cheap purchases, if they still want to buy these kinds of items. If people choose to own a couple of quality pieces of clothing over a large amount, their purchase will pay off over time. “In fact, there is coefficient named cost per wear, which is literally what it says. By keeping in mind how long is the item going to last, you can easily work out how much you pay for every single wear,” notes Filip. Sometimes it is easier to not know, but not in this case. If you calculate cost per wear with two similar items, there is significant difference, which only saves you money in the long term. “It is important to invest in the wardrobe, and you can feel much better with a well-thought-out purchase. That’s why we in SALONč4 prefer more expensive pieces that last longer and, above all, they are tailored to suit the client properly,” says Filip.

The fashion industry and its marketing tend to trigger customers to buy more than they actually need. But would they really buy so much, if they knew all informations about it? The problem starts with chemical fertilization of cotton, or rather with cotton pollution, continues with the exploitation of employees who do not have the opportunity to work elsewhere and ends with laundry causing contamination with microfibers that separates while washing. This problem is very complex and worrying, yet very little people know about that.

“In my opinion, as for the development of fast fashion, this market has been stagnating for a few years and it’s weakening. Leading producers are washing their hands with sustainable collections, but that is not enough. Primarily, changing the public view on clothing is more important. Nowadays, everyone is talking about whether this and that person is vegan, paleo or fruitarian. People could also figure out what the carbon footprint of the shirt is, what the dye is to who made it, because it has a direct impact on themselves. They wear these clothes on their own skin. When people understand that the purpose is not to constantly produce new and new low-quality items, but long-lasting ones, we will be a little further away. Right now, the generation, which will be the driving force of the economy in 10-15 years, is growing up. So, it is up to us how we educate them and how we treat fast fashion.

Next time you find yourself standing in shopping centre holding loads of hangers with garments that aren’t really necessary to buy, would you rather support fast fashion or reassess your choices? 

Klíčová slova: fast fashion, materialism, fashion industry


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