Rethinking “Fast Fashion”

Remember our feature on the sustainably chic brand, Reformation?

Well, Reformation founder and CEO, Yael Aflalo, recently sat down with Refinery 29 in their Future of American Fashion Series.

Aflalo discussed her opinion of fast fashion to reveal that she believes the trend will continue. She cites consumer tools, such as Instagram and Snapchat, as the platforms that contribute to the immediacy of consumer culture. Companies, such as Amazon, that offer same-day deliveries also contribute to a modern consumer’s desire to have everything delivered fast and now.

Admittedly, we instantly have a negative perception of fast fashion by associating it with companies who make cheap clothing with materials and dyes that are bad for the environment. Reformation’s quality pieces, that are made from sustainable fabrics, which also have a longer life-span, challenge the idea that fast fashion is a bad thing.

While Reformation takes a fast approach to delivering sustainable and quality pieces, Amazon is a retail giant that is launching a 500 piece fast fashion collection. Just when we thought that the fast fashion industry was saturated enough, Amazon’s new line will compete with companies like Zara.

The new line targets the same trend chasing consumers that Aflalo discussed, who use social media to shop for garments that they want delivered with urgency. To deliver fashion in a more unprecedented manner, Amazon recently launched an app, called Spark, which is a platform like Instagram and Pinterest that allows users to shop for items they see in a photo on Amazon. By allowing users to instantly shop the items they see in photos, Amazon is catering to the future of fast fashion that Aflalo envisions.

It seems inevitable that the future of fashion will continue to speed up as consumers demand more from fashion brands and in a shorter period of time. This forces us to ask a few questions about slow fashion. Firstly, will brands that take pride in slow fashion be forced to compromise their values in order to cater to the immediacy of consumer culture? Next, will we be able to differentiate between fast fashion that harms the environment and fast fashion that simply caters to consumer demand for urgency? Finally, will sustainable retail start to consider how “eco-friendly” can be translated into their shipping and delivery methods to customers to improve their impact on the environment?

There are many questions to be asked about the ever-changing fashion industry. Ultimately, it seems that fast fashion giants, like Amazon, respond quickly to consumer needs and concerns. If consumers are most concerned today with getting their orders quickly, then that is what the company will tackle first.

Information and photo gathered from Refinery 29The Fashion Law. 

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