We’ve all heard the phrase “Fashion Faux Pas,” but in this case, is the Faux Pas worse than the exterior?
“That’s a Fashion Faux Pas,” is a phrase we’ve often heard in many tv shows and magazines. Although in this context a “Faux Pas” is referring to an embarrassing mistake made in a social context, the fashion world might have committed an even bigger one. Have we all participated in something that we may never come back from?
Recently, the conversation around fast fashion has been very apparent throughout the media. The unjust working conditions in many fast fashion factories have been brought to light, highlighting the moral implications of the industry.
Conversely, the sustainable fashion industry is becoming more of a popular choice, as their products are not only environmentally friendly but made in fair conditions.
Here’s where the trilemma is presented: Is fast fashion a good choice, is sustainable fashion the better choice, or is there a neutral perspective?
To get first-hand information on the sustainable fashion perspective, we interviewed Dea Baker, founder of Aqua & Rock, a sustainable fashion brand based in the UK.
They sell womenswear, accessories, footwear, and interiors. The company has been selling its products throughout Europe, and are right now, planning on expanding into other global markets. The company, founded on January 27, 2019, has been growing rapidly over recent months.
The Pro-Sustainable Fashion Perspective:
Sustainable fashion, as defined in the Oxford American College Dictionary, is “a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice.”
The creation of sustainable clothing has been present in our society for nearly half a century. It started from two popular apparel companies known as Patagonia and Esprit in the 1980s. These two companies started to notice the negative impacts fast fashion clothing had on our environment and decided to change their method of manufacturing to a more sustainable manner. Lately, many more prominent brands such as Levi’s, Reformation, and Everlane have started to gradually alter their methods of manufacturing, starting to sell several sustainable products.
A simple definition of fast fashion is mass-market retailers who rapidly-produce trendy and cheap clothing (H&M, Gap, Forever21, Macy’s, Shein, etc.). Although well-loved, these stores are dangerous towards the environment due to the carbon footprint left by the production and disposal of their apparel. According to Healthy Human Life, the process produces 10% of all greenhouse emissions, 20% of all wastewater, and requires more energy than the airline and shipping industries combined. Additionally, the toxic dye and chemicals used, contaminate water-related ecosystems.
In addition to being an environmental danger, some fast fashion brands are known to
violate human rights. Many of these brands have factories located in countries like Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh. A majority of these factories have unsanitary and illegal working conditions with their employees working long hours with little pay. For example, in Bangladesh, the average worker receives pay of only $0.13 per hour.
Unlike these popular brands, sustainable fashion is environmentally-friendly and a f