Commentary

4 Reasons We Are Not a Fast Fashion Brand

Mary Kunkel is responsible for all sample dresses

Fast fashion describes the clothing that many major retailers and boutique shops sell. It’s sort of the equivalent of fast food. These clothing pieces are cheap, trendy and meant to be quick impulse buys. Retailers move through their inventory quickly so they can get on to selling you more.

It seems like every time you go to the mall or check one of these retailer’s websites, their inventory looks completely different. How many seasons are there?! It makes you feel like you need to go shopping every week so you don’t miss something.

Because fast fashion is also cheap fashion, it’s estimated that more than half of the fast fashion produced gets thrown out in less than a year.

At Paris Bloom, we believe there is a better way to shop. You deserve to choose from beautiful, well-made modest dresses.

Here are the top four reasons we decided not to be a fast fashion brand. Instead, Paris Bloom is where you can shop carefully designed seasonal collections for fall/winter and spring/summer.

1. Fast fashion warps our sense of value

The best way to truly evaluate the price of an item is to estimate how much it will cost per wear.

Let’s say you find a $35 dress on Amazon. You don’t love it when it arrives, but it’s good enough for how cheap it is. You might wear it three times, but then a seam starts to rip, it falls apart in the wash and you don’t feel that confident in the dress anyways so you never wear it somewhere special. You might keep the dress in your closet, but next season you don’t wear it at all. That $35 dress really cost you $11.50 per wear.

If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars on fast fashion only to feel like you have “nothing to wear.”

Let’s compare that to a well-made, flattering dress with quality fabric and stitching. You might buy a dress like this only once that season, but you feel put-together and confident every time you wear it. This is the dress you wear to an important work meeting, a special date or a big outing with friends. You wear it for several years in a row.

If this dress cost you $135, you would only need to wear it 12 times and its cost per wear would already be less than the $35 dress!

This is one of the ways fast fashion warps our sense of value. We get so focused on getting a cheap price that we don’t think about how much that “deal” will actually cost us.

Take a look at your closet. How much money have you spent on clothes that you never wear? If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars on fast fashion only to feel like you have “nothing to wear.”

Pile of clothes and still nothing to wear!

2. Fast fashion pressures us into a consumeristic mindset

Digital marketing experts estimate that each of us are exposed to thousands of advertisements a day. We all feel the pressure to buy more, and it’s one of the reasons why America is the world’s largest consumer market. Based on our annual consumption, the average American buys more than five garments a month.

Despite America’s high consumption, a survey of American women found the average women only likes 10 percent of the clothes in her closet. Another email survey found the average woman owns over $500 worth of unused clothes.

We believe fast fashion is a big reason why women are dissatisfied with their clothing purchases. Fast fashion encourages impulse buys of cheap products – not thoughtful decisions to buy well-made, timeless and versatile clothes that will flatter you and last through many seasons.

3. Fast fashion creates waste

Buying lots of cheap and trendy pieces that we will soon discard means that huge amounts of clothes are being turned into waste each year. The EPA says Americans send more than 15 million tons of clothes to landfills each year. The average person throws out 80 pounds of used clothing a year.

Since textiles can take hundreds of years to decompose, there are mountains of disposable clothes in landfills across America.

We can eliminate a lot of waste when we thoughtfully invest in quality, timeless pieces that are wardrobe staples.

Mary Kunkel and Audrey Cole work on designing modest dresses

4. Fast fashion exploits workers

Do you ever wonder how fast fashion brands can sell a dress for crazy low prices? It’s because they are paying overseas workers mere cents for each garment they sew. In many instances, workers spend long days in inhumane factories to make less than the equivalent of $3 U.S. dollars a day.

Despite the U.S. being one of the world’s largest apparel markets, 97 percent of the garments sold here are manufactured overseas.

Our modest dresses are ethically sewn in the U.S.A

Paris Bloom is proud to be a rare exception. Our modest dresses are ethically sewn in the U.S.A by workers who are paid a just wage. To learn more, read our blog post about the 7 reasons we ethically sew our dresses in America.

Learn more about all our Brand Promises, and how our carefully designed, quality dresses set us apart from other fast fashion brands.

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One thought on “4 Reasons We Are Not a Fast Fashion Brand

  1. Mary says:

    I never thought about the price per wear! Excellent point!

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