Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion: What are the Most Important Differences To Know?

Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion: What are the Most Important Differences To Know?

The dichotomy of fast fashion and slow fashion are two opposing trends that are changing the way we shop. To be specific, fast fashion is the focus on keeping up with constantly shifting style trends, while conscious fashion is more about creating a conscious ethical and eco-friendly wardrobe. As consumers grow more conscious of the environmental and social issues surrounding their clothing, the increased demand for ethical apparel — and the higher cost of production — is forcing designers to change the way they work.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is marked by a constantly revolving clothing market, where new collections from designers are snapped up by consumers almost as quickly as they can be produced and brands produce new items more frequently while also hiring cheap labor to keep prices low. The result is a phenomenon where clothing fads rise and fall more quickly than ever before, with just a handful of seasons separating one high street trend from another. The greatest dangers from the speedy fashion approach are poor worker safety and pay standards, environmental concerns, and the sheer amount of waste produced by the clothing industry.

What is slow fashion?

Slow fashion is a movement towards natural materials, lengthy production times — sometimes extending to entire seasons rather than just a few weeks — heightened emphasis on long-lasting design, and sourcing practices that focus on long-term sustainability rather than cheap prices or fast production times. Conscious fashion can be identified by its materials: more natural fibres such as cotton, linen, and wool; and its silhouettes: a return to classic, simple shapes.

The negative impacts of fast fashion

The primary environmental and ethical problems of the fast fashion world are not only to do with the workers but also with the production and distribution of apparel in general.

Unethical/unsafe labor practices

Quick fashion workers often have poor pay and can be forced to work very long hours without substantial time off. This can also lead to long-term health issues. Nearly 86% of clothing contractors investigated were found to be in violation of labor exploitation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in 2016.

Health hazards from manufacturing/chemicals in clothing

Another detrimental impact of traditional apparel factories is the health hazards that can be associated with garment manufacturing and chemicals in clothing. Not all manufacturers are properly regulated, and can use chemicals such as dyes that can be toxic to humans and animals. Gap has stated that they will no longer continue to manufacture clothing made from fabric derived from dead animals. This came about due to the possibility of diseases being spread from animal carcasses to humans through clothing production.

Impact on animal wellbeing

Toxic clothing manufacturing and textile waste is known to be damaging to wildlife, including birds and mammals. For example, the habitats and wellbeing of certain bird populations are affected by the fast fashion industry’s use of pesticides. The industry is also responsible for the wiping out of endangered species, with people hunting reptiles, antelopes, and seals for their pelts.

Carbon emissions

The clothing market is responsible for 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions annually. This is primarily fuelled by clothing overproduction due to decreasing clothing utilisation (i.e. clothes ending up in the garbage after 1-2 years, adding up to 92 million tons of textile waste each year) and overconsumption (i.e. carbon emissions associated with manufacturing and transporting garments).

Water waste

When it comes to the clothing industry’s obscene water usage, the numbers speak for themselves. About 20% of industrial wastewater is generated directly by fashion manufacturing. The growing of fabrics, bleaching, dyeing, softening of garments, and spinning also uses approximately 79 trillion litres of water annually, making the clothing industry the second-largest water consuming industry in the world.

How to spot a quick fashion brand

It’s clear that the traditional clothing industry needs to adjust the way it functions for any significant environmental change to happen. As an individual, here are ways shoppers can help by identifying and avoiding quick fashion brands. 


A simple and effective way to identify a quick clothing designer is to check for ‘micro-seasons’. These are frequent new collections. Instead of releasing fresh styles for each season, i.e. two to three times a year, fast fashion brands can have up to 52 micro-seasons of hundreds of styles. This high volume is meant to cater to the lowest denominator of consumers.

Trend copycats

Trying to please the highest percentage of customers possible with micro-seasons ties in with the tendency to stay on top of trends. Quick fashion brands like H&M and Zara take cues from the runways and social media to constantly release up-to-the-minute designs for cheap prices. This has the detrimental effect of training shoppers to value their garments less.

Greenwashing language

Greenwashing is the marketing tactic of using eco-friendly language, packaging, and ambiguous claims to look more sustainable than a brand really is. These cheap fashion companies try to take advantage of uninformed shoppers without taking real Corporate Social Responsibility. Also called ‘green sheen’, be on the lookout for environmental imagery and ‘salads’ of eco-conscious buzzwords like “non-toxic”, “waste-free”, and “natural”.


When a brand actually commits to sustainability, its language is naturally more clear and informative. If a clothing label or the fashion brand’s website doesn’t share details about specific sustainability initiatives like carbon-neutrality or waste management, that’s a bad sign.

Cheap fabrics

Low quality construction is visible to the naked eye, making it a layman-friendly sign of fast fashion. Look for threads that have been left untrimmed, a sign of hasty craftsmanship, and garments that already look wrinkled. These are signals of cheaply sourced fabrics that could lead to microfiber shedding.

How to adopt conscious fashion into your wardrobe

Now that you know which brands to avoid, what are the factors you should look for in a clothing designer to know if they’re environmentally and ethically conscious?


The first principle of slow fashion is to purchase fewer, higher-quality pieces. If you’re just starting the journey of creating a conscious wardrobe, then one way to go about it is to buy timeless designs that fit your personal style in multiple ways. This could be a classic long skirt or a silk scarf that carries you through multiple seasons.

Long-lasting quality

If you want pieces that last a long time, there is naturally a higher price tag associated with them. This is because more time spent on design to ensure longevity, sustainably sourced fabrics, and working with green-certified factories costs more money. A higher price point doesn’t always mean better quality, but it’s one of the indicators.

Sustainable fabrics

There are multiple ways that clothing fabrics can be considered eco-friendly. They can be organic materials farmed without pesticides and other chemicals toxic to the surrounding environment, revolutionary new materials that repurpose waste into usable fabrics like fruit leather or recycled nylon, or ethical fabrics such as peace silk harvested without killing silkworms.


The flip side of fast fashion, genuinely socially responsible clothing brands usually give specific details about their manufacturing. Examples of transparency in supply chain information is the name of the carbon-offset shipping company they use, where fair trade factories are located, and the names of biodegradable fabrics they use. 


Finally, responsibly made clothing will sometimes contain sustainable clothing certifications on their labels. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) denotes a cotton item that has been ethically grown and exported; the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sets that standard for responsibly managed forests, and Certified B Corporation (B Corp) signifies a company that meets exemplary standards for environmental and social management and transparency.

FAQ about fast and slow fashion

How do you identify fast fashion?

The most effective ways to spot quick fashion practices are to look for poorly constructed garments (loose threads, excessive wrinkling, shedding), frequent collection releases with the goal of keeping up with trends, and vague information about supply chains. This can be indicative of unethical worker conditions.

What are the principles of slow fashion?

The principles of mindful clothing are timeless designs that outlast style trends, durable and organic fabrics (which can sometimes mean a higher price tag), multi-functionality so you can get more out of fewer pieces, environmental claims backed up with evidence, and sustainable clothing certifications like Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and B Corp.

What are the biggest problems with fast fashion?

The heaviest impacts of the fast fashion industry, which is marked by being stuck in overconsumption and overproduction, are chemical leaching from landfills, underpaid and unsafe worker conditions, carbon emissions from textile waste and clothing production, and high water usage.

Reviews (18 comments)

  • شركات نقل عفش جدة On

    نقدم لكم افضل شركات نقل العفش بالمملكة العربية السعودية شركة نقل عفش بجدة شركة نقل عفش بمكة نقل عفش بالقصيم نقل عفش بالاحساء شركة نقل عفش بالطائف نقل اثاث بالطائف شركة نقل عفش بمكة نقل عفش بالدمام نقل اثاث بالرياض نقل عفش بالطايف نقل عفش بالاحساء نقل عفش بالخبر

  • 온라인카지노 On
    [url=]온라인카지노 추천[/url]
    [url=]바카라사이트 추천[/url]
    [url=]카지노사이트 안전도메인[/url]
    [url=]안전 카지노사이트[/url]
    [url=]카지노사이트 먹튀검증[/url];redirect=×02ef859015x290299&url=";URL=[EMVFIELD]EMAIL[EMV/FIELD]&cat=Techniques+culturales&url=,TFvar,00319d4f-d81c-4818-81b1-a8413dc614e6,TFvar,GYDH-Y363-YCFJ-DFGH-5R6H,TFvar,;redirect=;redirect=$deeplink_path=article%2Fjan%2F123&$$deeplink_path=article/jan/123&$fallbackurl=

  • افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة On

    شركة مكافحة حشرات بابها وكذلك شركة كشف تسربات المياه بابها وتنظيف خزانات وتنظيف الموكيت والسجاد والكنب والشقق والمنازل بابها وتنظيف الخزانات بابها وتنظيف المساجد بابها شركة تنظيف بابها تنظيف المسابح بابها شركة مكافحة حشرات بابها شركة كشف تسربات بابها شركة عزل اسطح بابها شركة تسليك مجاري بابها شركة تنظيف كنب بابها شركة تنظيف مساجد بابها شركة تنظيف سجاد بابها شركة تنظيف خزانات بابها شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بابها شركة تنظيف الاثاث بابها شركة تنظيف شقق بابها شركة تنظيف موكيت بابها شركة تنظيف مجالس بابها شركة تنظيف منازل بابها شركة تنظيف ستائر بابها شركة تنظيف فلل بابها شركة جلي بلاط بابها شركة مكافحة حشرات بخميس مشيط شركة كشف تسربات بخميس مشيط شركة عزل اسطح بخميس مشيط شركة تسليك مجاري بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف كنب بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف مساجد بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف سجاد بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف خزانات بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف الاثاث بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف شقق بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف موكيت بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف مجالس بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف منازل بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف ستائر بخميس مشيط شركة تنظيف فلل بخميس مشيط شركة جلي بلاط بخميس مشيط

    شركة مكافحة حشرات بنجران وكذلك شركة كشف تسربات المياه بنجران وتنظيف خزانات وتنظيف الموكيت والسجاد والكنب والشقق والمنازل بنجران وتنظيف الخزانات بنجران وتنظيف المساجد بنجران شركة تنظيف بنجران تنظيف المسابح بنجران شركة مكافحة حشرات بنجران شركة كشف تسربات بنجران شركة عزل اسطح بنجران شركة تسليك مجاري بنجران شركة تنظيف كنب بنجران شركة تنظيف مساجد بنجران شركة تنظيف سجاد بنجران شركة تنظيف خزانات بنجران شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بنجران شركة تنظيف الاثاث بنجران شركة تنظيف شقق بنجران شركة تنظيف موكيت بنجران شركة تنظيف مجالس بنجران شركة تنظيف منازل بنجران شركة تنظيف ستائر بنجران شركة تنظيف فلل بنجران شركة جلي بلاط بنجران شركة تنظيف منازل بجدةشركة تنظيف بالبخار بابها شركات مكافحة النمل الابيض بابها معلم تركيب سيراميك بينبع شركة تنظيف بجدة شركات تنظيف بالبخار بجدة شركة نظافة بالحمدانية شركة تخريم خرسانة برابغ شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض نقل عفش بيش شركة تركيب طارد الحمام بالدمام دباب نقل عفش بجدة ونيت نقل عفش بجدة شركات نقل عفش حديثة بالطائف نقل عفش بالطائف شركة نقل عفش بالخبر تطبيق نقل عفش شركة تنظيف خزانات بمكة شركة عزل خزانات بمكة شركة تنظيف بمكة شركة تنظيف شقق بمكة شركة تنظيف بابها شركة تنظيف كنب بابها شركة نقل عفش بالاحساء

  • شركة كيان لنقل العفش On

    شركة كيان لنقل العفش بالرياض والمدينة المنورة وجدة ومكة والطائف والدمام تقديم لكم دليل كامل لشركات نقل العفش بالمملكة العربية السعودية شركة كيان لنقل العفش منتدي نقل العفش شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض شركة نقل اثاث بجدة شركة نقل اثاث بمكة شركة نقل اثاث بالطائف شركة نقل اثاث بالمدينة المنورة شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر شركة نقل اثاث بالظهران شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء شركة نقل اثاث بالخرج شركة نقل اثاث بخميس مشيط شركة نقل اثاث بابها شركة نقل اثاث بنجران شركة نقل اثاث بجازان شركة نقل اثاث بعسير شركة نقل اثاث بحائل شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم شركة نقل اثاث بينبع شركة نقل عفش ببريدة شركة نقل عفش بحفر الباطن شركة نقل عفش برابغ شركة نقل عفش بتبوك شركة نقل عفش بعسفان شركة نقل عفش بشرورة شركات نقل العفش بالرياض سيارات نقل العفش بالرياض ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالرياض شركات نقل العفش بجدة اسعار نقل العفش بجدة شركات نقل العفش بمكة

  • شركة ريلاكس لنقل العفش والاثاث On شركة ريلاكس لنقل العفش والاثاث شركة نقل عفش بالطائف شركة نقل عفش بالرياض شركة نقل عفش بجدة شركة نقل عفش بمكة شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط شركة نقل اثاث بابها شركة نقل عفش بنجران ِشركة نقل عفش بحائل شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم شركة نقل عفش بالباحة شركة نقل عفش بينبع دينا نقل عفش بابها نقل الاثاث بالمدينة المنورة ارخص شركة نقل عفش بمكة شركة نقل عفش بالخرج شركة نقل عفش بالبقعاء شركة نقل عفش بجازان

Leave A Comment