The Business of Fast Fashion


A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Zoe of asking me if I would watch this minute long video.  I agreed, not thinking anything would come of it, but it really made me think!

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Our landfills are FULL of clothing that was worn for 6 months and then tossed because of low quality. I don’t think I ever paid attention to the quality of my clothing until I started sewing, then I realized how shoddy factory sewing is and how cheap the fabric is from stores like H&M and Old Navy.  No wonder my clothing falls apart after one season of wear!  

Since then I’ve tried very hard to make as much clothing for myself as I can, utilize my local thrift shops and generally buy less.  Ideally I’d love to get my closet down to about 20 quality pieces that I mix and match, we’ll see if that ever happens.

Watching this video really awakened my enthusiasm toward making positive changes in my closet.

Here’s a question:

How many shirts are hanging in your closet right now?  How many will last until next season?

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11 thoughts on “The Business of Fast Fashion

  1. I’ve been leaving with mostly hand me downs and thrifted item (used as they came or refashioned) for more than a year. And I feel great about it. Yes, I have way too many shirts in my closet, and every 3-4 months I tend to take some to charity…

  2. Wow! I recently bought some new tees from Old Navy. They only lasted one wash. After one wash I realized how awful they were. Very Cheap fabric. It seems as though all of my favorite stores are making things cheaper and cheaper! If I could only sew a tee! I need a tutorial Alida. :). When I sew knit it rolls. Help. 🙂

  3. I’ve heard lots of people saying they’ll be making more clothes since the factory collapse in Bangladesh, but I find it really hard to find fair trade fabric. If we’re replacing fast fashion with fast fabric, we’re still not improving the world much. The ultimate is obviously purchasing in charity shops, and I’ll go a long way for a good charity shop!

    1. I completely agree with you Samantha! After the collapse I began thinking hard about the fabric I buy and whether having the new “in” design is worth someone else working in unhealthy conditions that may possibly kill them. So glad I’m not the only one & thanks Alida for putting this up. <3

      1. I feel this way too. At the start of this year I decided I would not buy any new fabric. I am sewing from my stash (which isn’t huge, but there’s plenty there) and repurposing/upcycling old clothes. I’ve also bought a few pieces of fabric at the thrift store. I have no doubt that our fabric comes from these same factories. It’s much harder to find the fabric source too.

  4. I hate clothes that don’t last – and lately I find myself mostly wearing clothes I made anyway – the fit is better. As for fair trade fabric, check into NearSea Naturals – the majority of the fabrics they carry are grown, spun and milled in the US, so due to our labor laws you know you’re getting a product that was produced under acceptable working conditions. And didn’t have to be transported overseas.

  5. Love this post and it really makes you think. I have two teenage girls and I showed them this video so they too can start to think more about the things they buy. I sew many of my clothes because I want quality and individuality. Thanks for sharing this!

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