We know why fast fashion ends up in the bin; it’s cheaply and therefor badly made so it falls apart, it doesn’t wash well due to the cheaper fabrics used, it’s seams twist after a few wears thanks to the speedy but sloppy way it’s cut. But it’s more than the quality of the garment that has the average Australian throwing out 23 kilograms of clothing… each year.
The bigger problem of course is that these brands have structured themselves around constantly giving you more, constantly forcing more things into your eye-line and putting a tantalisingly low price sticker on it. Essentially making you feel as if these products are disposable. That’s the part that scares me.
I’ve said before that all fashion is handmade, every single garment that is made in the world is created by someone’s hands. There is no machine that cranks out five dollar T-shirts, only real people with real lives, and when we treat what they do as disposable, we treat them as disposable.
Here at EE we’ve gone the slow route. I wanted to make sure a garment was only ever made because it was wanted by someone. We went with a made-to-order model because I could not stomach the idea of manufacturing 1000, 100, even 10 of a product that then nobody wants, that sits in a warehouse until it is taken elsewhere, to be somebody else’s problem. Even seeing those products hang on a rack until they are so heavily discounted that they have no value anymore didn’t sit well with me either.
Our philosophy is; “when you want it, we make it” instead of, “we make it, and then make you want it.”
There is no magic fix for the rise of fast fashion, other than perhaps a shift in the way we view our clothes. Understanding the value of what we wear, and understanding the value of the people who made what we wear is a good first step to slow down the fast fashion model.