Fast fashion is not going away with its affordability and season-relevant looks that are always quick to capture the latest demands. While some American and European brands are losing their lustre, fast fashion brands like H&M, Zara and Topshop have risen to the top, driven by their expensive look but a cheaper price tag.
They feed on the thirst of consumers who like to buy and own goods that are contemporary and priced lower.
Creative director and fashion designer Cassey Gan said fast fashion is dangerous because it feeds and lives on brand-new collections and consumers’ desire for the latest.
“Fast fashion is also damaging to the environment because the amount ended up in a landfill is massive due to overproduction and hunger for newness.
“To a consumer, when something is less expensive, chances of it being valued and well taken care of is lower,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
Despite her different views, she believes both high and fast fashion will remain due to the demand.
“The reality is not everyone will be able to afford high fashion or on a regular basis.
I can understand why designer brands have to be highly priced. It is because the amount of research put into developing a collection, the techniques, the ideas and the artistry involved are intensive.
“For mega brands, their products have to be expensive because the amount of money they spent on marketing is huge,” she said.
High fashion is seasonal, the planning and designing works will take months to accomplish before a season which the designs are meant to be released for.
“I personally think that although dangerous, fast fashion will be here to stay for a good while. It will take a few generations to make a positive change and it has to start with education,” she said.
But Gan believes the public and the mass market need to be educated about independent designers.
Freelance fashion model Alicia Amin said fast fashion is not sustainable and dangerous on its own.
“All these items may look good. It’s good that people can afford them, but they are damaging the intellectual property of the high fashion designers and in general are not sustainable,” she told TMR.
Luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry still cater to their high-end markets, while lower-priced expensive looks aim to attract both priceand look-conscious consumers who update their lookbooks and social media, tagged #ootd.
According to SteamGreen, the textile industry is one of the biggest contributors to world pollution due to the whole production and consumption process that results in large carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere, totalling to about 3% of the global CO2 production.
The Malaysia Retail Industry Report by Retail Group Malaysia stated that the fashion and fashion accessories subsector saw a strong rebound in the last quarter of 2017, at 7.8%.