Already known for low prices yet trendy staples, fast fashion stores offer clothing at costs that make Goodwill seem pricey. All of those inexpensive finds might seem easy on your budget, but the world is paying a high price for fast fashion. So, keep on reading for the 5 reasons to rethink fast fashion.
- Fast fashion’s low quality changes how you think about clothes.
According to Ellen Ruppel Shell, author of “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture” says that when we buy cheap chic clothes at fast fashion stores, we don’t expect it to last. We don’t invest much in it monetarily or emotionally, it’s just to fill the gap such as an outfit intended to wear that party Friday night, and then its job is done. That’s the reason why women toss so much clothing as clothes feel cheap, fast, and disposable, that’s how we treat it. According to the author of Overdressed, low prices and fast trends have made clothing throwaway items, allowing us to set aside such serious questions as “how long will this last?” or even “will I like it when I get home?” Remember, if you’re going to toss your clothes after one wear, you’re throwing money away, too.
- Fast fashion can wind up costing you more than “real” clothes.
If you’re on a budget and looking for ways to save money on clothes, calculate the cost per wear for each item. You need to think about both how often you’ll wear the item, and how long it will likely last. For instance, you’re looking for a pair of black heeled sandals and you bought a pair for about $30. If you wear them just to one party, that’s your cost per wear which is $30. To maximize your purchase, wear them three times, which cost at only $10. However, if the cheap sandals break, replacing them with a new pair is another $30. It would be easy to wind up spending $120 per year on four pairs of the same cheap black heels, with a cost per wear of roughly $10. On the other hand, if you bought a pair of sandals for $150 providing that it’s of higher quality, you’re probably going to wear them even for 16 times in one year, where the cost per wear would drop below the $10 mark.
- Fast fashion collaborations trick you into paying for the name.
Mass market retailers regularly trot out collaborations with high fashion designers, giving consumers a taste of luxury in a cheaper price. According to Dana Thomas, author of “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster”, these limited-time capsule collections are designed to send shoppers into a buying frenzy where they don’t even care what they get, as long as they just know they’re getting something with the designer’s name on it. You could argue you’re paying for the design, but realistically, anyone who recognizes the designer is probably also going to recognize that you’re wearing the fast-fashion store version, not the real deal.
- Fast fashion distorts your sense of value.
Most women appreciate lower prices on all goods and are willing to pay more for certain types of products. However, the money you’re saving on that cheap shirt has real consequences so it’s worth the time to reflect on what it truly costs.
- Fast fashion is environmentally disastrous.
Fast fashion has even made the textile recycling business more difficult as the lower quality of the clothing means that recycled fiber is often sold below cost. “Buying clothing, and treating it as if it is disposable, is putting a huge added weight on the environment and is simply unsustainable,” says Elizabeth L. Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. Also, the Huffington Post reports that the average American throws out 68 pounds of textiles per year which are going to be taking up landfill space for decades to come. By taking these things into consideration, you might rethink fast fashion and go for real clothes.