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Ulysse Maes
Thu Jan 12 2023 · 6 min read

Fast Fashion vs Sustainable Clothing: What's the Difference?

As consumers, we are bombarded with choices when it comes to clothing, and price often plays a significant role in our purchasing decisions. In this context, buying fast fashion may seem tempting. However, it's important to consider not just the cost of an item, but also its lifespan and impact on the environment. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the average lifespan of a fast fashion garment compared to a garment that has been certified as sustainable.

Fast Fashion: Short-Lived and Disposable

Fast fashion refers to the practice of quickly producing low-cost garments to keep up with the latest trends. These garments are often made with cheap, low-quality materials that are not built to last. To increase their output, fast fashion brands systematically fuel hype through social media, to convince consumers- mostly kids and teenagers- they can improve their social status by buying a new outfit. As a result, the average lifespan of a fast-fashion garment is usually very short. Consumers may wear these items a few times before they fall apart or go out of style, at which point they are discarded. The resale value of fast fashion is low, because of the poor quality and changing trends. These factors create a constant need for new clothing and contribute to the problem of textile waste.

Sustainable Clothing: Built to Last

On the other hand, sustainable clothing is made with a focus on durability and longevity. Garments that are certified as sustainable are often made with higher-quality materials and are constructed with care and attention to detail. They are also designed to be timeless and versatile, so they can be worn for years to come. As a result, the average lifespan of a sustainable garment is much longer than that of a fast fashion item. This increases the resale value of the product, which can be calculated as a discount when buying a new item. Not only is it a great way to keep your wallet in shape, but you’re also supporting the second-hand economy at the same time. Additionally, sustainable clothing is often made with environmentally friendly methods and materials, such as organic cotton or recycled polyester. Finally, more responsible brands care more about ethical labor in their production chain and can enforce this, since the clothing doesn’t have to be produced as rapidly as with fast fashion.

The Many Benefits of Buying Less, but Better

Ultimately, the choice between fast fashion and sustainable clothing comes down to a matter of priorities. Fast fashion may be cheaper in the short term, but it's important to consider the long-term costs to the environment, society, and our wallets. Sustainable clothing may come with a higher price tag, but it is an investment that can pay off in the form of longevity, durability, and less textile waste. Besides, secondhand clothing is often cheaper. By choosing sustainable clothing, we can not only reduce our environmental impact but also make more responsible and thoughtful consumption choices.