What is the best fast fashion brand

Everything you should know about fast fashion

Everyone's talking about it, but what's so bad about fast fashion? If you've read this article, you will know for sure. And above all, you have the best arguments at hand if your big brother doesn't believe you that shopping at H&M has an impact on the environment or your neighbor claims that no seal guarantees good working conditions anyway.

Reading time: 7 minutes

Definition: what does fast fashion mean?

Fast fashion is cheap clothing that is quickly produced for the mass market in order to be able to react constantly to the latest trends. Oxford Languages

History: Why did fast fashion come about?

Fashion has evolved from local and traditional handicrafts and one-offs to global mass production with standard sizes:

  • While the manufacture of clothing was still very expensive until 1800, large industrial sewing machines emerged with the industrial revolution produce more and faster could.
  • Then during the second world war there was Standard sizes in clothing; In the post-war period, companies increasingly focused on the Customer wishes to predict.
  • In the 1960s, the younger generation created new trends and used fashion to express himself.
  • How long has fast fashion been around? After all, fast fashion has been booming since the 1990s, looking at designs at the major fashion shows and producing them quickly and cheaply.

Fact check: why is fast fashion a problem?

You have probably already recognized: The argument in favor of fast fashion is the low price. But the problem is: The price is indirectly much higher. Who pays him The environment, the people and the animals, at whose expense fast fashion is produced.

The environment: greenhouse gases, microplastics and chemicals

  • There are raw materials behind every piece of clothing. It takes energy to break it down, to process it, to manufacture the item of clothing, to transport it and to break it down again. This is how exhaust gases and emissions are created.
  • Fast fashion brings more clothes to market more often and faster; this increases the consumption of raw materials and the energy used. The whole thing culminated in the last few years that 8% of the world's greenhouse gases from the clothing industry come!
  • 60% of fast fashion is made of polyesterobtained from petroleum. Washing a polyester garment releases approximately 700,000 microplastic particles that washing machines cannot filter. This is how they get into water and cause great damage to the ecosystem.

Even if fast fashion is partly made from natural fibers such as cotton, that creates problems: conventional agriculture uses insecticides and pesticides, which damage the environment. The factories for further processing also use dangerous substances. Currently, 25% of the chemicals produced worldwide are used in the clothing industry!

The people: low wages, no health and safety and slavery

  • Not only nature and the environment suffer from fast fashion, also a large part of humanity: 300 million people toil in the textile industry - under inhuman conditions. 
  • 90% of them are women who are particularly suffering. 1 in 3 textile workers has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Neither contract, vacation nor regular wages? These are slave-like circumstances. The Global Slavery Index denotes the Clothing industry as the second largest driver of modern slavery in the world.
  • Factory owners often do not inform their employees about the chemicals used or do not provide protective clothing. As a result, workers have to struggle with health problems for the rest of their lives.

These problems received worldwide attention in 2013: The Rana Plaza textile factory in Bangladesh collapsed. More than 1,000 people died; 2,500 were injured. They worked for big fast fashion brands in such a dangerous work environment that they paid with their lives for it.

But where is fast fashion produced? These working conditions do not only affect people far away in Asia: Fast fashion “made in Europe” also has similarly disastrous working conditions and low wages, especially in Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

The animals: suffering, torment and global warming

  • From an ethical point of view, there is no argument to wear animal materials on the body: contrary to many statements, leather, for example, is not a waste product from the meat industry. In the rarest of cases, you can even trace where it came from. In addition, tanneries often use chrome in their processing, which if handled incorrectly can be incorporated into the harmful chromium VI is converted.
  • Animal suffering is also the order of the day when it comes to wool: Most of the wool comes from New Zealand and Australia. Here the industry works with the brutal Mulesing method, which causes great pain in sheep when sheared.

You can find more terrifying examples of animal cruelty in the clothing industry in this post.

When fast fashion is about animals, it's not just for moral reasons: industrial factory farming with its huge land areas and high emissions has one great impact on climate change.

The consumers: inside: buying madness and poor care

  • Fast fashion is also changing consumer attitudes. Today we buy on average 60% more clothes than 15 years ago. But we only keep the clothes for half as long.
  • Due to constant new trends, lower quality and low prices, the appreciation for a piece of clothing disappears: Instead of being better cared for or repaired, it ends up in Great Britain 11 million items of clothing in the garbage every week

Which brands are fast fashion?

Who is behind environmental destruction, starvation wages and cruelty to animals? The fast fashion brands with the highest sales in 2020 were:

  1. Companies of the Inditex group, e.g. Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear (20 billion euros)
  2. H&M (18 billion euros)
  3. Fast Retailing Group companies, e.g. Uniqlo (16 billion euros).

Other fast fashion brands include:

  • Primark
  • C&A
  • esprit
  • Forever 21
  • mango
  • new Yorker
  • s Oliver
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Asos

The alternatives: what can you do against fast fashion?

  • Buy fair trade fashion: Here you can be sure that human rights and minimum wages are the focus. This is guaranteed, for example, by the Fairtrade seal for cotton or the OrganizationFair Wear Foundation.
  • Buy organic fashion: All materials used come from controlled organic cultivation. If not, it is recycled fibers or materials from resource-saving production. When it comes to natural fibers, you can trust the Global Organic Textile Standard.
  • Buy vegan fashion: These clothes do not contain fur, leather, wool etc. You can recognize them by the PETA Approved Vegan seal or buy them from 100% vegan shops and brands.
  • Buy sustainable fashion: Particularly sustainable brands also rely on short transport, repair and recyclability of the materials. Pay attention to a low proportion of mixed fibers and to the manufacturers' repair or take-back systems.

Where do you start

Buying fair trade clothing is not the only solution to the fast fashion problem. Also a a reflected consumption, a better handling or the swap of clothes mit Freund: inside set an example against fast fashion.

What not only you should do specifically, but also corporations and politicians: you can read here and get started right away!

Are you most interested in politics? Great, in this interview you will find out why a legal basis for German companies could stand up to fast fashion.

What are we doing against fast fashion?

At Loveco, we have been actively fighting the devastating consequences of fast fashion online and offline since 2014. We sell clothing from brands that pave the way for a clean and fair fashion industry. But not only that: It is just as important to us that we meet you Fit and care advise so that you (and the planet) have something from the new item of clothing for as long as possible. This is the only way to make fashion sustainable!

In addition, we clarify about the Abuses in fast fashion on: In this magazine, on social media and in our stores. This is also where we do our work transparentto show what a better fashion world could look like. We discuss it with you, our brands and other players in the industry so that we can all develop together and fast fashion finally comes to an end!

Outlook: a future without fast fashion ...

Now you, your brother and your neighbor know exactly what fast fashion is, how it came about and what effects it has. You got tips on how to go against them and who can do better.

When you look at the numbers, you feel like you're fighting windmills: Brands like H&M, Primark and Asos saw sales growth of between 60-150% between 2017 and 2021. The global share of organic cotton on the market is still below 1%. 

BUT: Together we can fight fast fashion! With your support, we've been growing every year since 2014, selling more fair fashion and telling more and more people about it. Corona has caused many to rethink their consumption: According to surveys, topics such as climate change, environmental pollution and social responsibility are becoming more important for fashion consumers in purchasing decisions. Many have already changed their everyday lives to reduce their ecological footprint. Transparent information about sustainable materials is becoming more and more important to them.

That is a beginning! Help us achieve even more by sharing this magazine article!

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Lina Zuppke

Lina and Loveco founder Christina have been friends for a long time. As Loveco got bigger and bigger, Lina also became part of the team at some point and is now mainly responsible for communication and press. Lina is also a big fan of sustainability in her private life and shares a lot of tips and information for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle here on our blog.