Can made in America clothing be fast fashion?
- While a lot of the origins of fast fashion began with clothing production moving outside of the United States, it’s important to understand that fashion that is made in America can also be considered fast fashion. It just depends on the circumstances, the clothing brand’s business model, and the way the fashion styles are being manufactured. Both fast and slow fashion can be manufactured in the U.S.A.
If you’re a little confused about fast fashion, we’re here to help. As a shopper, how do you know whether a brand is fast fashion or not, so you can support more slow fashion brands? It can definitely be tricky, but here are some elements to watch out for –
- Low Costs.
When you understand how many components are needed to make a garment, it makes it very difficult to believe that a t-shirt could ever cost $3. From the fabric to the dyeing to cutting and sewing and distribution, there are many hidden costs in the behind-the-scenes of clothing manufacturing. When you find clothing that is offered for prices this low, it can be a red flag that it is not ethical for the humans or environment impacted throughout the supply chain, and a good opportunity to ask more questions from the brand before buying.
- Low Quality Clothes.
Fast fashion is built on the idea of quantity over quality. It very much opposes the ideas of slow fashion. Many fast fashion styles are constructed with cheap fabrics and sewn so quickly that they may easily fall apart. Many people today talk about how they wore something once and after washing it, it was already falling apart. That’s a good indicator that clothing was made with a fast fashion mindset, centering waste instead of the impact on the environment.
- Aligns Clothing With Disposability.
Fast fashion brands have taught us to align the idea of disposability with our clothing. This has largely influenced the relationships we have with our clothes today, and is something we should all work to resist. We have been trained through our culture to disconnect from our garments and think of them as something that is disposable. When clothes wear out, just buy new ones – right? This is something we avoid at City Threads, as we believe in making quality garments that can be handed down to other family members or friends, and we believe in caring for our clothes, to help extend their lives.
- Materials From Fossil Fuels.
The majority of fast fashion consists of synthetic materials – which are derived from fossil fuels and negatively impact our environment. “Synthetic fiber production uses the equivalent amount of oil per year as the entirety of Spain, and polyester production alone produces the equivalent emissions of 180 coal-fired power stations annually.” (Fossil Fuel Fashion) As a brand that has focused on using natural fibers like cotton since the beginning, we believe searching for alternatives to polyester or synthetic materials is a great way to start in your search for non-fast-fashion-styles.
- Focused On Trends, Not Evergreen Styles.
Fast fashion brands tend to focus on trends and styles that are *in* one day and *out* the next. Trendy clothing is innately built with the idea that it will be used once or twice and then tossed aside. Fast fashion brands typically don’t promote the idea that rewearing your clothes is cool. On the other hand, slower fashion brands like City Threads celebrate outfit repeating and support finding ways to rewear your styles in as many ways as possible.