Sustainable Fast Fashion

There are very few industries and clothing that are as widespread and cross-culture as clothing and fashion. For one thing, most, if not all (we don’t exclude the always-nude population), people wear clothing. Fashion has always been an expression of both culture and personal style. Even if we try to avoid it, it is a part of our identity.

But how much does it cost? I’m not looking at the price tag, be it in euros, dollars, or yen, but the social and environmental cost of clothing. Look at your tag. Most of us have clothing manufactured oversea, in countries with very little or no labor regulations and minimum wage. The tag might’ve been $15 for a T-Shirt but carries a heavy conscious, especially when tragedy occur, like the incident in 2012.

I will develop a metric that will measure the “true” environmental and social cost of clothing for fast fashion companies. As an emerging breed, companies like Uniqlo, H&M, and Zara have flooded the market with inexpensive and stylistically desirable clothing. Their business model is dependent on speed: instead of having four inventories a season, these companies are able to have a 3 week timeline, from development to store-front. For this to be possible, there must be a greater level of social and environmental exploitation to match the pace of production.