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Your Complete Guide On: Fast Fashion Vs Slow Fashion

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Before we get into What is Fast Fashion & Slow Fashion? Let’s get a little overview to get a clear picture of the situation.

For someone who likes to stay updated with the latest fashion trends, you must know how quickly trends can change. A today’s trend might become a thing of yesterday in just a moment. Once there was a time when fashion trends changed at a slower pace. Designers produce new styles and clothing lines twice a year each season. However, all that has changed since the rise of fast fashion in the last few decades.

Difference Between Fast Fashion & Slow Fashion
Difference Between Fast Fashion & Slow Fashion

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion is used to describe the highly competitive & exploitive business model that replicates high-end-fashion designs and celebrity fashion trends by mass producing and selling them at low cost. Fast fashion garment production consists of trend replication and low-quality materials to bring affordable styles to the end consumer.

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Impact Of Fast Fashion On The Environment?

From a distance, fast fashion may look impressive with all its trends at low prices. Most times a year, buying clothes “in style” looks dreamy and almost unreal. But everything comes with a price. Here the price is paid by the garment factory workers who are exploited from an angle by the big brands and labels. Studies show that fashion is the 2nd largest industry for waste on the planet. [1]

Environmental Impact
Environmental Impact

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Fast fashion has some severe negative impacts on the environment:

  • These include water pollution, toxic chemicals used for production and dyeing, and tons of textile waste.
  • Globally, textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water after agriculture.
  • According to a study, the clothing industry produces 20% of the world’s wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions. [2]

Why Is Fast Fashion Bad?

  • The garment factory workers’ requirements are insufficient, from cheap labor and inhumane working conditions to excessive work hours.
  • They work under hazardous health conditions, earn low salaries for long hours, face sexual harassment, and even die on the job.
  • Wildlife is also impacted by fast fashion. The toxic dyes and microfibres dumped in waterways are consumed by land and marine life through the food chain with harmful effects. Furthermore, animal welfare is at risk when animal products such as leather, fur, and wool are used in fashion.

What Is Slow Fashion?

Sustainable fashion & slow fashion are terms for very parallel concepts. The basic idea is to change the complex systems inherent in the current fashion model for the sake of the planet & people.

Sustainable fashion leads to slow fashion. Clothing produced on a shorter scale and with slower production times today is characterized by quality, locally fabricated clothing. On other hand, slow fashion is a counterculture against the mainstream fast fashion movement. It brings more awareness to the clothing industry, and asks people to be conscious consumers that demand more from the brands they support.

What are the Characteristics of Slow Fashion?

Characteristics of Fast Fashion & Slow Fashion
Characteristics of Fast Fashion & Slow Fashion

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  • Sustainable fabrics are usually used in slow-fashion clothing. A few of the materials used are organic cotton, Tencel, linen, and hemp. In addition to being able to withstand more washes, these fabrics release less CO2 during cultivation and manufacturing.
  • The fast fashion industry’s success is built on the ability to hire a large number of people at a very low cost, as everyone knows. Slow fashion is often made in already developed countries. A cornerstone of slow fashion is to pay workers fair and equitable rates.
  • A slow-fashion brand can often be found in boutique shops or on the web, making them even more environmentally friendly.
  • Usually made from recycled cotton, Tencel, organic hemp, and organic linen, slow fashion uses fabrics with the lowest environmental footprint. Water, pesticides, and nonrenewable resources are minimized in the production of these fabrics.
  • It is easy to repair and fix fabrics used in a slow fashion, which are designed to last and resist washing.

How to Spot Slow Fashion Brands?

  • Make sure the brand uses enough optimum resources while being cruelty-free.
  • It is important to ensure that the fabric is durable and of high quality.
  • Shops that support slow fashion are generally smaller, local ones rather than those with more prominent showrooms.
  • Look for garments that are produced and sold locally.
  • Check to see whether the brand launches a few styles per collection, which aren’t released back-to-back.


Up until now, you have discovered how fast fashion gets more benefits from consumer spending, profits, and the consumer satisfaction of participating in a trend almost immediately after they see it in magazines or on their favorite celebs.” On the other hand this industry contributes to climate change, pesticide pollution, and massive amounts of waste.” Matter of fact also the exploitation of workers and the risk to their health. But on the bright side, the slow fashion movement is on the rise, gaining mainstream popularity in recent years.

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What 3 Things Define Fast Fashion?

Following are the factors that define fast fashion from the consumer’s perspective:

  1. It’s easy on the pockets, it’s in style and on top of that it’s disposable.
  2. It makes it easy and reasonable to buy clothes on impulse.
  3. Customers are motivated to update their wardrobes as trends are changing time by time.

What Are Examples Of Fast Fashion Brands?

When we talk about big fast fashion brands, Zara and H&M stand at the top, while speaking about others, Gap & Fashion Nova are making quite a buzz nowadays.

Is Slow Fashion Sustainable?

Slow fashion is the alternative to fast fashion and promotes a slower, more sustainable and doesn’t view products as disposable. It supports buying vintage or thrift clothes, customized old clothes, shopping from smaller producers, and purchasing quality garments with a longer run.

What Is The Impact Of This Slower Approach On The Fashion Industry?

As a movement, we need to evolve beyond the cheap, high production rates of fast fashion to support the slow fashion movement. Maintaining awareness of what a brand represents and focusing on quality rather than quantity can be achieved by simplifying our wardrobes.

A few more suggested read from our blog,


[1] What’s Wrong With The Fashion Industry? – SustainYousStyle

[2] Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable? – BBC

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Olivia is a seasoned blogger and printing enthusiast with a flair for fashion. With over three years of experience in fashion, she brings a unique blend of creative insights and industry knowledge to her readers. Passionate about the art of printing and the latest fashion trends. Her engaging writing style and expert guidance make her a go-to source for anyone looking to explore the dynamic world of fashion printing.

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