Fast Fashion vs Sustainable Fashion

Why Your Fashion Purchase Matters:

During last thirty years, the design and manufacturing of clothing has gone global.  Production has shifted to third-world factories with little regulation of environmental, worker or societal impacts.  Hence, the media has been replete with news items of the devastating effects of poor environmental and social conditions caused by this shift in production.  Stories of forced child labor, treacherous working conditions and toxic pollutants poisoning communities appear regularly.  In fact, Chinese workers in multiple factories for well know corporations have threatened mass suicides if working conditions were not improved.  These horrible conditions are gross violations of the social contract these companies have with their workers, and consumers.  But what can the average person do?   How can I make difference amidst these global trends?  This is the reason we started Filthy Rebena – to offer consumers an alternative; to provide our friends and neighbors with a way to participate in fashion trends in a manner that is cost effective, healthy and better for our planet and communities.  Purchasing recycled clothing is not only trendy; it provides peace of mind knowing that you are making a statement about the manner in which your purchase is produced and how the profits are reinvested into the community.  Your Purchase Matters!

“Fast Fashion” vs “Sustainable Fashion”

 Defining Fast Fashion:

Fast fashion is a fashion concept invented in the early 1980’s and it is based upon the concept of “Fast Food”.  If you understand the concept of Fast Food – that is food that offers few custom options, is consistent in taste and texture, is mass produced and has a low unit process, then you understand Fast Fashion.  Like Fast Food, Fast Fashion is cheaply made, addictive and unsustainable.  Fast Fashion is the hamburgers, French Fries and Twinkies of the fashion world.    The Fast Fashion concept is designed to tempt consumers to buy far more than they need.  In turn, the trends in fashion are changing much more quickly.  Clothing stores are now introducing a new line every four to eight weeks, with one clothing line manufacturer actually putting out a new line every two weeks!  Garments are for sale at prices that on the surface seem very inexpensive, enticing consumers to buy buy buy.  How many times have you looked at a price tag and said to yourself, “at this price I’d be foolish NOT to buy it”?  Behind this low price is that the product itself is also inexpensively made – poor quality, exploitive working conditions and with no concern for the environment or the long-term effects of the community in which the products are made or sold.

Defining Sustainable Fashion:

As a company committed to recycling and bringing vintage clothing back to life, Filthy Rebena is clearly engaged in the sustainable economy.  However, we seek to take sustainability to the next level by recycling vintage clothing made in western democratic countries with strong environmental and worker protection laws.  Whenever possible, we also recycle union-made vintage clothing, thereby ensuring the customer that their purchases were made supporting regulated workplaces.  The bottom line is that Filthy Rebena customers can be sure that their purchases are supporting efforts to promote sustainable practice thereby ensuring the quality of the garment, the protection of the workers that produce the clothing and that the products support the communities in which they are produced and sold.

The Triple Bottom Line:

Sustainable businesses understand the Triple Bottom Line as a way to convey sustainable Venn diagram of sustainable practises practices.  In a nutshell, the Triple Bottom Line seeks to create alignment between the activities of the Economy, Society and the Environment.  Businesses seeking to become more sustainable plan their operations based upon the interactive objectives of economic prosperity, ecological integrity and social/cultural equity.  The graphic at the right best demonstrates this.

A Message to Filthy Rebena Customers:

As fashion consumers, the allure of Fast Fashion is appealing as the up-front cost appears to be cheap.  However, because the fashion trends change so quickly, the up-front cost is masked by the need to spend more to stay trendy and spend more to replace poorly made clothing that falls apart quickly.  On top of this and more importantly, the cost of exploiting workers, the environment and the overall society is hidden.  At Filthy Rebena, we know that making a conscience decision to purchase recycled clothes costs a little more on the front-side and we greatly appreciate the efforts our customers make to ensure their purchases are not only fashionable, but make the environment and our society a little bit better in the process.  The bottom line is that your purchase matters and we appreciate your business!

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