It is considered as the swift turn over of low cost clothes within the international clothing industry. Nowadays, stores such as H&M and Zara are acquiring brand new merchandise in a weekly basis. Retailers aim to make consumers feel drawn to novelty items and so far, it is a successful strategy.
In the U.S., americans are buying as much as five times more clothing today than they did in the year 1980. According to the Atlantic, people send about 10.5 million tons of garments to landfills annually.
Other clothing which are not sent to the landfills are donated, however, a large portion of these donated clothing are sold in used clothing stores or shipped in other countries by the bulk.
We can mainly address the success of the fast fashion industry to low cost production which includes low paid employees under unhealthy working conditions.
The global impact of fast fashion
As stated by MarketLine, the international apparel industry has been steadily expanding at a annual rate of 4.78 percent since the year 2011.
The industry is currently valued at about $1.4 trillion dollar in sales for the year 2017 and it is not showing indications of slowing down. The market’s outlook is forecasted to see a 5.91 annual growth for the next three years.
The market size of the apparel industry is expected to hit a staggering $1.65 trillion in sales globally by the year 2020. Marking an approximate of 60 percent increase in market size since the year 2011 which saw a $1.05 trillion dollar pool in its market size.
This sudden increase in growth simply indicates that the average buyer is now purchasing more than 1.5 times compared to only 6 years ago.
According to the World bank, the growth in international gross domestic product between 2011 to 2015 garnered an average of 2.70 percent. If the rate of clothing consumption from that period, which according to MarketLine is about 4.50 percent, is compared to what consumers are doing today, it is clear that every year consumers are increasing the amount of money spent on clothes.
The multi trillion industry blossomed all thanks to cheap production cost for poorly made garments. Workers that are barely paid the minimum wage are mainly affecting the economy of countries wherein these clothes are being made, China is one of the known countries who harbor this kind of business.
In turn the money that could be used for the economic restoration in the U.S. is spent on paying the outsourced workers in China.
The future of Fast Fashion
As of now, consumers still intend to spend money for cheap items that come at a passable quality. It will be interesting to monitor what the future holds for the industry, watching it closely take over the globe or are we going to revert back to the high quality low & volume style of consuming.