The definition of a “fast fashion fast”

Fast fashion is pretty much all the clothes we see for sale in high street shops or online. While in the past most designers would bring out two to four seasonal collections a year, retailers now bring out two collections a week! Fast fashion is everywhere, and ever changing, like an endless roller coaster of buying – wearing – hoarding (or discarding). Fasting means getting off the roller coaster.

Those of us who love fashion need to go on a fashion fast.

Fast fashion actually destroys real fashion since it mainly deals with ‘interpreting’. That is a nice way of saying ‘copying’ the catwalk trends and the hard work of talented designers who actually design original, well made clothes.

Then there is the ethical side, hordes of underpaid, usually unskilled workers who make the clothes.

And finally the hidden costs. The destruction of the environment and waste of valuable resources to make clothes, which are little more than disposable items.

I’ve heard all of this before and you may have heard it before too- the question is how do we succeed on the fast fashion fast?

Please share your tips on fast fashion fasting. I will be sharing my tips (and somewhat, hilarious first attempts) on the next post…

9 thoughts on “What is a ‘fast fashion fast’ and do we really need to go on a diet?

  1. Antonia

    I can’t wait to read about your first attempts!! I just keep reading your blog and remind myself about it. I admit I sometimes peruse the Zara website and I just can’t believe (more than anything else) how many tops look exactly alike, like how many variations of the same top do they really need to make over and over again? It’s so ridiculous and so wasteful! Most of them will end up in the big sale they have at a fraction of the cost and you know they’re still making money on it! It’s amazing how many times they update their website with new things. I just think about what you’ve stated above and so many times before and it’s so true. I know F21 and H&M are probably worse-everyone needs to WAKE UP!! Thanks Lady Sarah for your insight.

  2. dottoressa

    “Getting of the rolling coaster”- perfect definition and therapy! Because “shop till you drop” is a kind of social disease,addiction,no matter what the “hidden costs “are.
    We have to stop blindly folowing the fashion ( because even Fashion itself seems to be lost, producing so may collections),one by one and than there be a couple of us and than more and more. “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell from 2000. about reaching the critical mass ,deals with this phenomena.
    It really is the fight against evil.
    I like Archana’s idea about education the children (of course,they have a zillion bad influences from media,but still…..let them hear the other side)
    Living in a world without many things to buy,as a young girl, I learned to appreciate and identify quality,so when things changed, I still wanted the best I could have,not just many things. And than,there were not enough money for “a lot of best”,there were more important things to buy. IMO,that has saved me from fast fashion frenzy,I was simply already too mature (:-)!) to surrender.
    But,still,I have too many things (during the years…..).
    I’ll buy only something I really need- that is my promise to myself and my decision-no matter what my friends buy or want to buy or have ( and very rarely something I’ll love very,very much)- so far so good! And there are amazing things in my closet!

  3. Archana Paladugu

    The styling on the picture you posted is absolutely perfect. Grey and pink are such good friends !

    I have been on a Fast Fashion fast for two years. Its is not easy. Especially because I was living off Zara prior to cutting it out.

    A few thoughts :

    1. I think education is the way to go about it. Education about quality. Education about what really happens in the sweatshops. Most western civilizations have no clue. And seeing the dead rivers is one of the saddest sights in itself. I am beginning to think its hard to make a connection if you are not from a third world country. Nat Geo takes up a lot of issues on pollution but havent investigated fashion as yet. There is a disconnect on information available.

    2. A conviction that we can lead a happy and “not boring” life with few good things. We are so used to excess that it feels like depravation. If I were to re-do it all with say 20 piece closet, I would automatically think a lot more about my style and pick the best quality. Plan more. Save better. Oddly, this realization came to me pretty late in life.

    There are too many lifestyle blogs whose content revolves around featuring and selling product. I see our blogs as a rebellion of sorts.

  4. Sharron

    I have been on a fast fashion refusal for sometime. BUT every now and then i ‘Dip my toe in the water’ so to speak. Last year i bought a pair of coated jeggings from New Look, channelling my grease side. 5 wears, that is all and then the coating came off at the top of the thighs. Recently when i was in the states i indulged in a bit of Old Navy. Lovely black drapey off duty dolman sleeved top. I adored it. Approx 6 wear laters, it’s bobbly and resigned for painting 😦

    Previous to this i had a lot of fast fashion and as i have worn items i have either replaced with better quality or just not bothered. Now the struggle i have is that i am a uk 16-18 and most ethical traders stop at 16. My recent buys have been from M&S and Boden and i have read their ethical principles but i get a little suspicious as there is a lot of ‘greenwashing’ in the press. I have 3 beautiful handbags that i will be prised out of my cold dead hands 🙂 So feel the attention is on building well fitting, good quality building blocks and this is not an easy task!

    I mostly wear fitted trousers/jeans and loose tops with jackets and boots for winter and sandals for summer and i almost exclusively wear black, so how hard can it be?!

    My spring summer wardrobe is in situ and im already planning for Autum/winter!

    Can’t wait for your tale Lady Sarah!

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      Thank you for the detailed suggestions. I like M&S and I think they are an excellent main stream choice. They have always been responsible and were tracing their supply chain when most people did not know what a supply chain was…😃 If you visit their flagship store in Marble Arch it all looks very appealing.❤️

  5. Marie S

    I don’t shop for recreation, only when I need something, try to buy the best quality I can afford and keep things for a long time. I don’t enjoy shopping much as it is hard to find what I want these days. In the past I have had clothing made but even that can cause problems as they have not turned out exactly as I wanted them. I try to check out the ethical policies of the stores but how do we know they are actually doing what they say they are? I donate my still good items to my local charity shop if they no longer fit. Any more tips greatly appreciated.

  6. Virginia

    As a clothing and shopping fanatic, it has been a hugh challenge for me to revise my habits. Thanks to inspiration from Lady Sarah I have spent the last couple years cutting out most fast fashion. As Sharron stated above, it is a major problem to find ethical fashion for larger sizes. As much as I appreciate Eileen Fisher, I need to expand my choices at times (e.g. summer maxi dresses) and I find myself looking at some better quality but still not ethical goods. And I have to purchase goods for my client all the time which must be inexpensive per their wishes.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I cannot understand why there is so little ethically made goods in larger sizes! The challenge continues!!


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