Tag Archives: fast fashion

  • Fish finger fashion

    October 12, 2011

    Gok's Clothes Roadshow is currently showing on Channel 4 with a variation called Get the Look for Less and we must say we are disappointed. With his unashamed promotion of mass produced cheap tat, he has gone right off the boil, as far as we are concerned, having headed down the frozen fish finger aisle for an instantly gratifying, but ultimately unsatisfying, fast fashion fix.  Yes, there may be a recession on, but dressing for less doesn't have to involve scraping the bottom end of the fashion barrel. We should know! As frugal frockers, we have been banging on about it for years and started our Fifty Quid Fashion Challenge back in 2007.

    Not so long ago, Gok's affordable high street looks regularly used to trounce the overpriced designer outfits salivated over by his blonde sidekick (you know, the one with the dogs) in his famous fashion 'face-offs'. Yet fast forward to the current series and the high street is being dissed in favour of what we can only describe as fish finger fashion. So it's Brix no more, high end no more, independent designers no more; mid-price high street is no longer hip, and cheap supermarket 'chic' is where it's at. That's really going to help the retail sector, struggling as it is to pay the bills, with many more well known high street names looking vulnerable as quarterly rents fall due.

    Regardless of Gok's seeming enthusiasm for low budget clone wear, we doubt he'd be seen dead in a pair of George jeans or a Primark T-shirt himself. What's more, buying cheap means that producers and suppliers down the fast fashion food chain are being shafted. Ethical policies developed in corporate board rooms and PR'd ad nauseam by faux-caring, designer-wearing, profit-loving professionals don't mean much to exploited child labourers on the other side of the world who are hand sewing sequins on to your landfill leggings.

    There are perfectly acceptable alternatives to fast fashion, which are every bit as affordable to those on tight budgets, such as charity shops, second hand stores, affordable vintage outlets, even the back of your own wardrobe (we found a Marcel Fenez 60s dress in ours last week that we hadn't seen for years!) While you're at it, why not dust off that old sewing machine, look out some knitting needles or crochet hooks and create something original as well as ethical? Students are past masters at dressing for less and can probably teach the rest of us a thing or two about saving money and slowing down to achieve style without sacrificing sustainability.

    Please remember you don't have to abandon principle and become a fish finger fashionista or Tesco trolley dolly just because some stylist said it was cool on the telly. Despite being big fans in the past, we reckon Gok's latest menu is lacking in greens and more cheek than chic. The acronym BOGOF springs to mind.

  • Slow fashion: winning the race for hearts and minds?

    September 16, 2011

    Twitter, we have found, is not only a wonderful way of interacting with customers, but is also a great medium for connecting like minds, who will frequently signpost followers and friends to articles and websites of mutual interest.

    As our regular readers will know, one of our passions is for 'slow fashion' and so it was natural that we should follow Slow Fashioned on Twitter. Being sometimes lazy frockers, we are grateful to other tweeters for highlighting relevant links and, thanks to @slowfashioned, two media articles caught our eye yesterday. Both are well worth reading if you are a fellow proponent of slow, sustainable fashion.

    The Guardian focused on the growing inflationary pressures on fast fashion, as identified by the ONS, under the headline Rising cost of clothes could signal end to 'cheap chic'.

    The days of "cheap chic" and throwaway fashion could be numbered, because the cost of clothes is rising at its fastest rate for nearly 15 years.

    The "fast fashion" trend, where T-shirts sell for £2 and jeans are priced at less than a fiver in supermarkets, is being battered by big increases in the cost of cotton, labour and transport.

    Some especially scary statistics cited in the article came from research at Cambridge University which found that:

    "...as clothing prices have come down, the number of garments bought has soared fourfold. The study found that the average British woman buys half her body weight – 28kg (62lb) – in clothing every year".

    Eek! It's surely time to hit the production and consumption brakes before we have no more land to fill with textile waste comprised mainly of throwaway fashion  (one million tonnes a year and rising).

    Another short but incisive article on the Atlantic website, Slow Fashion: Reconnecting Production and Consumption, also had us nodding our heads in agreement as it pointed to the unhealthy disconnection between production and consumption, mourned the loss of community and deplored the replacement of tradition with profit. It gave much food for thought about the undesirability, and ultimate unsustainability, of the fashion for 'fast' everything.

    Awareness of the environmental impact of human activities is growing. For food, it means buying more organic, local, and seasonal products. For fashion, it should mean more organic, local, and less seasonal. A piece of clothing should last for decades. Like a recipe passed down from generation to generation, we should pass our clothes down to our grandchildren.

    Amen to such sentiment! As the slow fashion movement gathers pace, thanks to a combination of consumer awakening and economic constraints, the growing prevalence of articles like these demonstrates that the times may well be a-changing for the better (and slower).

    And it's always reassuring to know we are but one voice among many for whom slow is every bit as beautiful as small. We've said it before and we may as well say it, and link to it, again: Landfill fashion: what a waste.

  • You know it makes eco-sense

    March 5, 2011

    We are pleased that our first ever February eco-fashion challenge has helped raise awareness, albeit in a small way, of the benefits of wearing vintage, second hand and hand made clothing and accessories. Each and every participant demonstrated how great  looks can be achieved by mixing charity shop purchases, vintage finds and hand made or recycled fashion, and everyone had fun doing so.

    As well as attracting dedicated eco-fashionistas who needed no persuasion that it's the way to go, we also made a few new converts to the cause, including young people who had never previously considered eco-frocking. We also made some lovely new friends along the way. Result!

    We have previously blogged about the Preloved Reloved project which is the brainchild of Kim Sklinar, one of the new friends we met as a result of our challenge. She is raising money for charity by dressing exclusively in second hand clothes  for a year and is on our exact wavelength as far as eco-fashion goes. Being waste aware sorts ourselves, we especially enjoyed this recent post, Frugality vs Waste, and we wholeheartedly share her antipathy towards rampant consumerism and our wasteful throwaway society.

    Although eco-frockers like ourselves are rarely to be found in high street fashion outlets, just occasionally we take a stroll round a few of them when we are in town. So last week, with some time to while away before a dental appointment, we visited two such stores to see what is currently on offer in the world of fast fashion. First off, the sheer volume of identical garments in a factory sized space felt like an assault on the senses. Rails and rails of mass produced soulless sameness! On closer inspection, the quality of some of the pieces ranged from poor to appalling, but equally shocking was the price of some of them.

    Indeed the experience was almost as painful as the subsequent root canal treatment and we naturally left with nothing (without feeling remotely like the weakest link). Fortunately, we found welcome solace in the charity shop next to the dental surgery which offered up a fabulous military style coat dress, originally from Principles and in good as new condition. It will be having its first second hand outing with its new owner this weekend.

    Back to shop

  • Fast fashion for men

    May 21, 2008

    Fast Fashion is something the men in our lives do well.

    They enter a shop, usually the first one they come to, look quickly through the rails until they find the type of garment they need in what they consider to be an inoffensive style/colour and in their size, pay quickly (sometimes muttering “how much?” under their breath) and leave.

    None of the “does my bum look big in this?”, or wasting time and effort trying things on, let alone making a considered decision as to what might suit them. It’s simply a chore that has to be completed as painlessly as possible when their best jumper gets felted or all their shirts have turned a murky shade of pink after they have inadvertently left a red sock in the washing machine.

    It can of course be worse when they make a determined effort to be fashionable and their ‘trying too hard’ results are in evidence on high streets everywhere. Unlike the majority of women, however, they don’t lack confidence and have far fewer hang ups about the way they look, which can only be good.

    With apologies to all the many fashionable and style conscious men out there, some of whom shop at The Frockery!

  • You can't go wrong - or can you?

    May 15, 2008

    "You can't go wrong!", exclaimed Lorraine Kelly on GMTV this morning, positively salivating over a white tiered dress from trash fashion outlet Primark costing just £9.  Her male stylist sidekick, who was smugly showcasing it as 'Primarni', naturally nodded in simpering agreement.

    Just when we thought the media sentiment was turning - and it seems to be thus over at the BBC, whose online magazine Thread actively promotes ethical and sustainable style - LK has to go and spoil it all by encouraging us to pick up a cheap frock at a fast fashion joint before jetting off on our summer holidays without a care in the world and, clearly, without a care for the world.

    Lorraine isn't the only journalist who is promoting cheap-as-chips fashion one minute and bemoaning the environmental impact of transporting goods halfway round the world the next, all the while sympathising with the plight of overseas workers, many of them children, who are paid a pittance for their labour. These issues are all inextricably linked, and as long as we continue to support an industry which is founded upon the exploitation of both people and planet, we are all very much part of the problem.

  • The end is nigh for trash fashion

    May 13, 2008

    Yes, the end is nigh for disposable ‘trash’ fashion. Well, it must be true if the BBC are telling us that cheap chic (an oxymoron if ever there was one) is on the way out. Have they been reading our blog, we wonder?

    For the past decade or so, fast ‘fad’ fashion has dominated the high streets and supermarket aisles. A new t-shirt costs less than a bottle of wine, with the result that binge buying of cheap clothes has become something of a national pastime. Meanwhile, consumers have been largely content to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s exploited labour, or else remain blissfully ignorant of the workings of the global economy.

    However, there is evidence to suggest that the trash fashion trend may be stalling. Rocketing oil prices are taking their toll on the all important bottom line, which means an inevitable increase in the price of throwaway clothing for the consumer. Let’s face it, garment prices couldn’t come down any further without becoming ‘giveaway’ fashion!

    The credit crunch is now biting households hard across the country, which has meant a sudden and significant rise in the cost of living. As we all struggle to meet the escalating costs of life’s necessities like food, fuel and mortgage payments, we are becoming far more discerning consumers. Increasingly, we are looking for best value based on quality rather than price alone, all of which adds up to more bad news for the fast fashion industry.

    There are also signs that the mass media’s love affair with ‘fast’ culture is coming to an end. Even the BBC are now acquainting consumers with the reality of how and by whom these cheap garments are produced and how far they have to travel to reach our high streets and supermarkets. All so that we can wear them once (or not at all) and throw them away. We reckon it amounts to collective insanity.

    In reality, there is no need to stay a fast fashion clone when you can so easily and affordably set your own style with the textiles that are already in circulation. We are delighted that the BBC and style gurus everywhere are at last catching up with what we’ve known all along. It is heartening to see them embracing The Frockery’s own eco-fashion tips with such enthusiasm!