NEW YORK — Half of Americans believe “fast fashion” — clothing modeled on the runway and then manufactured quickly for stores to carry at a very low price point — is going out of style, according to new research. A survey of more than 2,500 Americans delved into the fast fashion trend and revealed 54 percent are opposed to it.
Of course, that’s once they learned what it was. Only 38 percent knew what fast fashion meant without being given a definition. But even if they believe it’s unfashionable, it might be here to stay. Results show that six in 10 respondents believe social media is exacerbating the problem of fast fashion. That might be due in part to a desire to not be an “outfit repeater.”
According to the survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Avocado Green Mattress, 48 percent prefer not to be photographed in the same outfit twice — and social media makes fashion choices more public than they might be otherwise.
A long way from eco-friendly fashion
The survey looked into fast fashion and the intersection between style and sustainability, as well as delving into respondents’ shopping habits. Results reveal a surprising 46 percent believe they can’t be both stylish and eco-friendly. Another 54 percent are more interested in affordability than quality when finding new pieces for their wardrobe. And despite 69 percent of respondents expressing concern for environmental issues, only 44 percent “always” or “often” consider potential environmental impacts of their clothing purchases.
Sadly, 44 percent of respondents admit to throwing out perfectly good clothing, rather than taking it to a thrift store or giving it away. And instead of going through the hassle of a return, 55 percent have chosen to donate their unworn clothes.
The survey shows respondents are aware their actions aren’t very green: 62 percent admit fashion is one area in which they could be more environmentally friendly.
“In today’s world, it’s so easy to hit ‘add to cart’ without considering the true impact of our decisions — both on the people that are making these products as well as on the environment,” said Mark Abrials, co-founder and CMO of Avocado Mattress. “But once you decide to educate yourself and become more informed and aware, it actually makes these decisions much easier.”
Some respondents are making an effort to be green, though. Twenty-six percent of the average respondents’ wardrobe is made up of secondhand clothing. Shopping at thrift stores isn’t the only step respondents are taking, either. Nearly half (48%) use old clothes as rags around the house, and 36 percent have used old clothes for art projects.
Additionally, a third (33%) said they shop local and 29 percent work to avoid fast fashion.
“Even small changes can add up to big results. And now, more than ever, companies are taking action to become more environmentally friendly — whether through the materials they use, or by reusing or donating products, rather than throwing them away,” said Abrials. “Breaking old habits can be difficult, but becoming a conscious consumer is better for our own health and the health of our planet.”