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Fast fashion

Fast fashion

Retail concept for moving clothing from the catwalk to consumers quickly, with rapid turnover of product.

About

Fast fashion is a retail concept for moving clothing from the catwalk to consumers quickly at an affordable price with rapid turnover of product. Fast fashion products begin in fashion shows and appear in stores quickly based on what is trending socially. It's made possible by consumers desiring cheaper clothing, trendy or fashionable clothing, and by the purchasing power of the consumer combined with economic and technological innovation. Fast fashion companies often release new seasonal, monthly, and weekly fashion products to stay relevant and trendy. Notable fast fashion brands include H&M, UNIQLO, GAP, Zara, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21.

The development of fast fashion coincided with the rise of consumers shopping for clothing as entertainment combined with advancements in supply chain management by fashion companies. Fast fashion allows retailers to capitalize on fast-moving consumer trends quickly, and influence new consumer trends while maintaining an affordable price for their fashion products. Retailers selling fast fashion products tend to have customers visiting their stores more often due to the constant release of new products leading to the sale of more products without the need to lower their price compared to competing non-fast fashion retailers.

History

The foundation for fast fashion was laid during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s when textile machines, such as sewing machines, and factories began to expedite the process of making clothing. These devices allowed for clothing to be made in bulk rather than custom-made and thus the prices for clothing began to decrease.

World War II also had an impact on the origins of fast fashion as it became the norm to mass produce clothing due to fabric restrictions and the need for more functional styles. As decades passed, there was an increase in demand for "trendy" clothing by younger generations. With fashion trends changing quickly and there being a market for affordable clothing, retailers began outsourcing labor and opening textile mills around the world.

Major fast fashion companies, such as H&M, started as small shops in Europe around the middle of the 20th century. The Industrial Revolution and World War II influenced the companies in the aforementioned ways and the small shops grew to the major outlets they are today. The term "fast fashion" was coined in the 1990's by the New York Times to describe Zara's operation for its business, which was to take a garment from the design stage to being manufactured, and finally available in stores in a span of just 15 days.

Forecast

While fast fashion has grown in years such as between 2014 and 2017, that trend has slowed in 2019 and 2020. Multiple factors play into market trends including global pandemics, such as COVID-19, and societal trends, such as younger generations understanding the impact their buying habits have on the environment and others worldwide. It is projected that the fast fashion market will be valued at $44 billion in 2028 and other apparel markets, such as second-hand clothing, will see an increase in value at an estimated $64 billion.

Funded tech startups working in fast fashion

Timeline

1990
The term 'fast fashion' is coined.

The term is first used in the New York Times to describe Zara's quick turn around time from garment design to it being sold in stores.

1947
Major fast fashion brand H&M opens.

The shop opened in Sweden and adopted fast fashion practices as time progressed.

1800
Industrial Revolution introduces machines to expedite the process of making clothing.

Technology that was new at the time, such as sewing machines, allowed for clothes to be made more quickly and at a faster pace.

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Fashion Nova, H&M, Zara: Why we can't stop buying fast fashion

Terry Nguyen

Web

February 3, 2020

What Is Fast Fashion, Anyway?

Audrey Stanton

Web

October 8, 2018

What is Fast Fashion?

Web

May 9, 2020

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Fast Fashion Explained In Under 5 Minutes

September 26, 2018

Why Is Fast Fashion So Cheap?

May 7, 2020

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

ADAY

New York, New York

Arcadia Group

London, England

Athleta

San Francisco, California

Banana Republic

San Francisco, California

Bershka

Arteixo, Spain

Bestseller

Brande, Denmark

Burton

London, England

C&A

Düsseldorf,Germany

Comptoir des Cotonniers

Cotton On

North Geelong, Australia

Dolls Kill

San Francisco, California

Esprit Holdings

Ratingen, Germany

Evans

London, England

Forever 21

Los Angeles, California

Future Group

Mumbai, India

Future Lifestyle Fashion

Mumbai, India

GAP Inc.

San Francisco, California

GU

Tokyo, Japan

Inditex

Arteixo, Spain

Janie and Jack

San Francisco, California

Koovs

Haryana, India

L Brands

Colombus, Ohio

La Senza

Montreal, Canada

Lane Bryant

Colombus, Ohio

Massimo Dutti

Tordera, Spain

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References

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