Is Coronavirus slowing fast fashion down?
For many like myself, fashion is a big part of life. I’m mocked for pre-planning my outfits for weekly dress down days, I own more jackets than I’d care to admit and the prospect of a loud, floral blouse excites me. But, in this day and age, it’s hard to verbalise all that without people assuming you’re contributing to the fast fashion world. That said, aren’t we all? Unless a person is incredibly eco-friendly and only buys second-hand garments from charity shops, I don’t think anyone can freely proclaim to being entirely above it.
Regardless, this planet is in crisis because of the amount of materials that are being constantly churned out into fashionable threads that people can buy cheaply. While I spend money on certain high-ticket items because I see them as investments, I’m well aware that I do procure easy-to-replace cheaper t-shirts and occasion dresses that I’ll potentially only wear once. But I know I’m not alone — in fact, things rings true for most of us.
Imagine if there was a quick fix — wouldn’t that be great? Well, moan as we might about the Coronavirus and lockdown, I’m increasingly reading articles about its positive effects on fast fashion. With many in the industry being on furlough or temporary leave, some companies can’t pursue designs, which means factories aren’t full of workers and new clothes aren’t being made. Some brands have even turned their attention to down tools to make scrubs and face masks.
This deadly virus has forced us all to stay in. Frankly, many have lost jobs or taken pay cuts, which has meant shopping online is now a luxury, thus stopping fashionistas in their tracks before they add anything to their basket. Sure, many are using this non-negotiable downtime as an excuse to order even more and occupy themselves with treats, so fashion brands will be receiving orders, but the trend is slowing.
Further still, seeing positive effects on the environment will be making people take notice of their impact on things such as fast fashion and it’ll be becoming clearer that our planet needs to be protected.
This is a time for reflection on such matters. And what better way to spend an afternoon than getting the sewing machine out on some foresaken wardrobe finds? You’d be surprised how many tatty tops and well-worn jeans could become your new customised staples. It’s a recycler’s dream.
The next few months will be telling, in that we’ll see how major retailers shift their product lines along with their views. Will anything have changed? Will people actually continue to buy less? Does the public prefer to try things on before purchasing? Whatever happens, rest assured, this is where Artful Sonder has its finger on the pulse — for every awesome, organic cotton graphic tee you buy, two trees will be planted! If that’s not a great start, I don’t know what is.