Reclypt is the alternative to fast fashion, but why is one needed? Welcome to our multi-part series: Why do we need an alternative to fast fashion?

Let’s start with what fast fashion is:

Fast fashion is cheap, trendy clothing & accessories that relies on the exploitative business model of getting the newest styles to market as fast as possible so consumers can purchase them while they are still at the height of their popularity, then discard them after a few wears when the trend inevitably changes.

More on this from Good On You

This plays into the idea that outfit repeating is a fashion faux pas and that if you want to stay relevant, you have to sport the latest looks as they happen.  It forms a key part of the toxic system of overproduction and consumption that has made fashion one of the world’s largest polluters, human rights violator, and political economic disruptors.

We’ll get into all of those implications as this series continues, but it’s important to start with how fast fashion and overconsumption affects our mental health. The availability of instant product viewing, safe transactions, and peer reviewing through online shopping and social media have transformed the world of shopping.

Can’t think of a better day to talk about overconsumption than on Black Friday. A day that wouldn’t exists without consuming more than what we need.

Let’s put overconsumption into perspective:

  1. The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year (400% more than two decades ago).
  2. We buy 5x more clothing than our grandparents did.
  3. The fast fashion market is expected to grow 19% over the next 5 years.
  4. On average, each person in the US buys 35 lbs of clothes per year.

No matter how much you think you like shopping, it’s important to understand that shopping itself can be an exhausting activity, unsatisfying, and operate as a replacement for other forms of fulfilment. According to international research on consumerism and well being, excessive shoppers experience emptiness and boredom in between shopping periods, with feelings of restlessness and dissatisfaction fueling their desire for further shopping experiences. In academia this is often called being trapped on the ‘hedonic treadmill’.

Young, high income women are the most vulnerable. The spread of online shopping and social media makes people even more susceptible to over-consumption, driven also by constant comparison to others.

Fast fashion continues to argue that it allows people of every income level to express themselves through their fashion choices, but it tends to ignore that this expanded group is now drawn into collective overconsumption, which is also driving debt in lower income households.

This is barely scratching the surface of fast fashion and overconsumption but we have to start somewhere.

Learning how this massive industry has such a hold on us is the first step to changing it. At Reclypt we are the alternative to fast fashion by promoting zero waste, local designers, & personal style. Our products are made from the results of overconsumption by local designers; and since we don’t follow trends will never go out of style!