Understanding Fast Fashion

The term “fast fashion” is often associated with cheap labour, cheap fabrics and cheap prices. However, this is far from the whole story, as we discovered meeting Fashion Enter who run their very own North London factory:

Let’s face it, fast fashion has been taking a bit of a pummeling of late and, while no one in their right mind would agree with manufacturing methods that are exploitative, we aim to show another side to fast fashion that paints an entirely different picture.

“Retailers must respond to quickly changing fashion trends, which now change in weeks instead of months – thanks in part to instant coverage of fashion weeks and street style online. It used to take about six months for a product to get to market, and this has now been slashed down to three week cycles.” [1]

However, giving consumers what they want doesn’t have to mean selling them poor quality clothes or exploiting workers – it’s just about innovating in the right way and getting the products to the consumers quickly.

Jenny and some of the production team at The Factory

Meet Fashion Enter

http://www.fashion-enter.com/

At FashionCapital’s sister company Fashion Enter so called fast fashion makes up a large proportion of the companies production orders. Based in North London, the 7,500 square-metre SMETA[2] approved Factory manufactures up to 8,000 units a week and is totally compliant, paying staff a fair wage, providing good working conditions and ensuring the best of practices. Does that sound so bad?

“When I think of how we make silk garments for M&S with the same machinists that make for ASOS.com – GOD – Going Out Dresses, I could pop my clogs when people talk fast fashion down.  Fast fashion means just that.  We can make a garment from idea to delivery in just two weeks – that’s how nimble we are!  We do not compromise quality at any stage of cutting, stitching, finishing, pressing…we just work to high standards.  Anyone is welcome to see how a fully compliant, ethical and sustainable factory works here in North London. Seeing is believing!” (Jenny Holloway, CEO)

Doing Things Differently

So fast fashion is not all about sweat shop labour and poorly constructed garments; due to efficiency, skill and great organization manufacturers are able to turn-around orders quickly, and the fact that they are on home soil and open to inspection at any given time ensures transparency is greater than ever.

Fashion Enter is a not for profit, social enterprise, which strives to be a centre of excellence for sampling, grading, production and for learning and development of skills within the fashion and textiles industry. See here for more information.

 

[1] https://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/fast-fashion-cheap-fashion

[2] https://www.sedexglobal.com/products-services/smeta-audit/

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Please cite this article as: Jenny Holloway (2017): The Problem with Fast Fashion?, In: _zine, Vol. 2, Issue 2, online at: https://zine.tcbl.eu/the-problem-with-fast-fashion/
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