We pay lots of attention to what we put into our bodies but do we really think about what we put ON our bodies? The shoes and clothes we wear are often a silent (or loud depending on your personal style) expression of who we are and who we want to be at that particular time and in the age of instant gratification, fast fashion has become increasingly popular. Fast fashion is a term for quickly taking trends and designs from the runway to the store. With most commercial and high street brands making billion-dollar profits from providing consumers with a wide variety of low-cost products, it doesn’t seem bad but these low-cost products come at a price and too often we fail to ask ourselves how can a t-shirt really only cost €4,99?
Why are fast-fashion brands able to sell their products for such a low price? Because of unethical reasons like using genetically modified cotton and manufacturing their products in countries that allow poor and unsafe working conditions and deny basic human rights. These aren’t the only problems with fast fashion. There’s also the issue of it contributing to the destruction of this beautiful planet we call home. A lot of dyes used in these products contain heavy metals, most of which end up in local water supplies dumped by factories especially in developing countries, although China, a developed country has been cited by Greenpeace for allowing this. These metals like lead can also be absorbed by your skin and lead exposure had been linked to increased risks of heart attacks, strokes, and infertility. So in addition to the formaldehyde, pesticides, and insecticides on these products, we also have to look our for lead. Another ecological problem with fast fashion is that it is not meant to last which means that in next to no time, most of our fast fashion purchases end up in landfills.
Lots of fast fashion brands have tried to clean up by image by launching strategically planned “conscious” collections to boost their public image and distance themselves from the negative reputation of fast fashion but is it enough? We think not. Yes, products from brands that aren’t fast fashion are pricier but they also last longer and are socially and environmentally conscious. Some of our favourite conscious fashion brands are Reformation, Stella McCartney, Nudie Jeans, and People's Avenue.
Here at TCPJ, all of our staff wear jumpers, t-shirts, aprons, and beanies that are made with azo-free dyes or from organic cotton by socially conscious brands because while what you put into your body is important, what you put on it is as equally important.