These days, fashionistas of every size and shape can find almost anything on the internet. If you want what Kim Kardashian wore to Kanye’s SNL performance, just give it a week, and dozens of online brands will have some version of it available at bottom dollar, in virtually any size imaginable. You can buy Amazon fashion with one click. You can even order a custom suit without ever meeting your tailor. It’s no surprise that we’re now buying 5 times more clothes than we did in 1980. Damn.
As a $1.2 trillion industry, fashion has learned how to churn out new trends faster than you can wash and dry a load of laundry. According to the Business of Fashion, the garment industry is also a leading contributor to global pollution, second only to oil. Fashion magazines and our addiction to celebrity worship often get the blame for encouraging eating disorders and unrealistic beauty ideals. We’re dumping 200k tons of clothing into landfills annually. Combine these with a deep-rooted history of reliance on slave labor and severely inhumane labor practices in the textile industry, and the dark side of fast fashion isn’t just that your cheaply made clothes will fall apart after two washes.
BUT THIS IS KINDA KIND, and while I could go on and on about what went into making your Versace knockoff, I’d much rather focus on the positives. The best part of being in the fashion world right now is there is a growing world of responsible designers, stylists, and suppliers creating more inclusive, ethical styles. Major retailers like H&M are making good on commitments to sustainable, ethical practices. Fashion media is talking more about diversity and body positivity issues than ever. We’ve even celebrated a plus size model on the iconic Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, people! It’s only up from here.
If you love style and shopping with a conscience, join me here for the latest Style Ethic reports on what’s great on the good side of fashion. <3 Kat