Over the last twenty years, a kind of “fashion democracy” has swept society and all of us can now afford to keep up with the latest style trends. This situation is a consequence of fast fashion. Let’s take a better look at this phenomenon. And especially at how it affects our lives.
THE IMPACT OF FAST FASHION ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Clothes always ahead of the style curve, low affordable prices and new collections every month. As you might gather from the name, the whole point of fast fashion is to produce apparel and accessories as quickly as possible, which basically feeds into a throwaway consumerist culture.
The fast-fashion industry can churn out one collection a month – and even clock up to 50 micro seasons per year (about one per week) – as opposed to the two traditional selling seasons of Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. This has led to an exponential increase in fabric manufacture and a dramatic drop in prices because corners are cut left, right and centre: shoddy materials are used and production systems are relocated.
As one might well imagine, this all has a dramatic impact on the environment. Just a few of the devastating effects are water pollution, the emission of greenhouse gases and chemical substances into the air, desertification and millions of tonnes of textile waste to be disposed of.
A few figures will give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem. The fast-fashion production system moves at a frenzied pace which results in more carbon-dioxide emissions generated by international flights and sea transport. It is estimated that 86% of the 80 billion garments produced each single year ends up in the bin within one year.
WOMSH AND THE “SLOW” APPROACH
“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.” – Vivienne Westwood
Here at Womsh championing environmental sustainability translates into day-to-day investments of time and resources into responsible actions that will make a real difference to the fashion sector. It means using recycled or waste materials, taking part in virtuous social and environmental projects, using entirely plastic-free packaging and manufacturing our goods on Italian soil.
This is our way of life, our credo and our concrete contribution to a better future. Because sustainability is not only about the environment, it is a complex system of harmonious relationships between ecology, economy and social equality.
THE WATCHWORDS OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION
A better future exists and it hinges on three basic concepts:
- Responsible innovation: seeking out and selecting ethical green alternatives that not only lessen the impact of business activities on the environment, but also nurture positive relationships with everyone involved in company operations.
- Supply-chain traceability: this means that the consumer can track the journey of a product and see where it came from before it reached destination. Which is why all Womsh shoes feature a QR CODE which allows customers to access a Blockchain system detailing and certifying our every action, the materials used and the supplier involved.
- Circular approach: this aims to create a production process which eschews the traditional model and does not contemplate the end of a product life, but rather regenerates and converts items without loss of energy or materials.
TIPS FOR CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION
A book written by Elizabeth L. Cline and entitled “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” (Penguin Publishing Group) clearly explains the issues at stake. Buying less and more carefully means buying better. Because we should all be aware that when we buy a t-shirt or a pair of trousers for a song, the number on the price tag does not reflect the real cost. Most of the time, it might be a bargain for the shopper, but it is hideously expensive for our Planet.
It might seem to be prosaic, but our role as consumers is fundamental. We are the ones who can steer society out of these murky waters. So, the watchword is: awareness.
What can we actually do, then? Here are some useful tips:
- When you thinking about buying something new, ask yourself how many times you will actually wear it! Because if you are going to wear it often, it would make more sense to buy a better-quality piece that will withstand the passage of time rather than choosing low-quality garments.
- Before buying from fashion giants online, check to see whether your small local stores offer an e-commerce service.
- Be savvy about discounts and tempting offers. More often than not they are deceptive and already worked into the full price.
- Extend the lifecycle of your existing wardrobe by taking proper care of your clothes. Wash less and be gentle with delicate fabrics.
In a nutshell, the revolution starts in your wardrobe. It starts with you. With us!