Monday, 22 August 2016

Fast Fashion Hits The Headlines!

A remarkable moment for ethical fashion fans this week, as the problems inherent in the fast fashion model were explicitly laid out in a mainstream newspaper.
And not just any old rag. The Daily Mail.

The approach taken by fashion writer Polly Dunbar is that of value for money, mixed in with a healthy dose of nostalgia–both hot-button items for yer average Mail reader. By pointing out the cheap materials and rushed production methods inherent in the model, Polly makes it clear: fast fashion items are shoddily made and will fall apart on you quickly. Testing popular brands, she found out that some would fade or lose their shape after only two washes.
There's also an admirable dig into the science in Polly's extensive piece. For example, garments that use a blend of fabrics that shrink at different rates will lose their shape much more quickly–and the majority of fast fashion items are exactly that.
She delves into the history of fashion, with the help of Daniel Milford-Cottam, a fashion cataloguer at the V&A. Even clothes made in the 60s and 70s, which we have the unfair perception of being badly, cheaply made were in fact skilfully and sturdily constructed, and in the most part from long-lasting natural fibres.
This being the Daily Mail, there has to be an element of conspiracy, of course, that somewhere along the line we're being deliberately ripped off. In this case, Polly and Daniel talk about planned obsolescence, and how modern production methods guarantee that clothes won't last as long. Machine-sewn buttons that come off easily, unfinished running seams... We've all seen them, and it's pretty obvious that they're a symptom of an industry that believes in cranking 'em out and selling 'em cheap.
The article concludes with a few tips on buying with an eye to the future. We're properly down the rabbit-hole here, friends, as The Daily Mail recommends the Spend More, Buy Less, Choose Wisely model that we've championed here at The Pier for years now. It's a massive vindication of ethical fashion.

Our View: while we shudder to actively promote an article in The Daily Mail, Polly Dunbar's piece is really worth a read. Forensically researched and full of practical tips that can be applied to real-world shopping habits, it's one of the best works of journalism on why ethical fashion matters that I've read all year.
If the mainstream is getting the message, then we could be in for some major changes.

Read Polly's piece. Just stay away from the Sidebar Of Shame, okay?

Polly Dunbar's piece on the Fast Fashion ripoff.

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