Fashion is a form of self-expression, where one can effortlessly express their creativity, identity, and values to the world.
Fast fashion is defined as a design, manufacturing, and marketing method that is focused on rapidly producing high volumes of clothing. The quality of these pieces are often made to last a season, and they are typically produced in developing countries with poor working conditions and far-reaching environmental impacts. This is because the globalization of production has allowed brands to produce in one country and sell in another. As such, even if a brand is from North America, the working conditions, environmental regulations, and wages do not have to reflect the standards and regulations set out by their own country.
With fashion being the second largest polluting industry on the planet, there is no shortage of unnerving statistics. Approximately 21 billion tons of textiles end up in landfills each year, with approximately three out of every five pieces thrown out in the first year that they are bought. The fashion industry also accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. Rather than compensating for this with mass forestation initiatives, the industry heavily contributes to deforestation. To give you an idea, around 200 million trees are felled each year to make fabrics.
Fast fashion alone is expected to generate over 160 billion in sales over the next five years. The figures are alarming - the clothing industry is one of the biggest threats to our environment.
Fortunately, the growing attention that this issue has gained is slowly creating a movement of conscious consumers and subsequently, conscious brands.
At SIE, we are ever-so aware of the impacts that fast fashion has, and we are committed to being better. Contrary to the production standards set out by fast fashion, all of our pieces are produced locally and ethically in Los Angeles. Each garment is produced from deadstock, recycled materials, and/or post consumer materials. In turn, we prevent unused materials from ending up in the landfill, emit lower greenhouse emissions, and conserve water in the process. Moreover, our shipping materials are made with sustainable materials, including water-based inks and recycled paper for our mailers, tissue paper, and thank you cards.
It is not fashion itself that we need to criticize, but the ways in which it is produced and consumed. Reducing our consumption of fast fashion is an opportunity to shift our style away from the “next trend”, towards a mindfully curated collection of long-withstanding pieces, giving way to a more meaningful reflection of our authentic ourselves.