Everything You Need to Know About Fast Fashion and Why It’s a Problem

You may remember the little incident with online retailer Nasty Gal, claiming that Taylor Swift’s Balmain jumpsuit was their own at the Billboard Music Awards. The CEO of Nasty Gal was caught by couture followers, and has been under fire before for stealing concepts.

Nasty Gal can be labeled as a “fast fashion” retailer, which leads to the question of what is fast fashion and how has it impacted the fashion industry.

Defining the Dilemma 

Fast fashion is a semi-fast cycle that allows retailers to see trends on the runway or garments that they like, reproduce them in mass quantities and sell them in their stores at cheap prices (think $100 compared to $2,000 and up).

It’s interesting to see just how quickly fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe can create the design concept, produce them and have them out on the floor of their stores.

The garments are cheap because it takes less time, money and work to produce them, compared to their detail-oriented runway inspirations.

Child labor and under paid workers are a big part of fast fashion, though it is rarely talked about.

The Drawbacks

The drawbacks of fast fashion are that you are essentially stealing an idea from designers like Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander Wang, who put a lot of thought into their pieces.

It also speeds up the fashion cycle because trends are thrown into stores very quickly, one right after another. (But can you really imagine a world without stores like Zara, Nasty Gal, H&M, etc.?)

Though there are many drawbacks of fast fashion, people who normally wouldn’t get to purchase high fashion styles are able to.

That creates a need for fast fashion retailers like Nasty Gal and Asos, who keep on producing those copied styles.