Which brands are “fast fashion”? How to tell (in 4 points) ǀ Justine Leconte

Fast fashion means that the brands produce in countries where labor is very cheap because the laws don’t protect the garment workers. The clothes produced are of poor quality and execution, and they get sold at incredibly cheap prices in “rich countries”. Since they are trendy in design, they will get out of fashion quite quickly. In fact, fast fashion brands even release new collections every 2 weeks, to make clothes previously purchased… obsolete.

How to tell if a brand is “fast fashion”:
1. Look at the brands producing in countries and factories where accidents happen. These brands clearly don’t care about where and how their clothes get produced…
2. Research to which larger corporations these brands belong. It is very likely that a huge corporation like Inditex (Zara, Mango…) uses similar production methods for all its brands.
3. Understand the mindset of the brands / corporations that belong to the fast fashion industry: if they outsource their productions to countries where labor rights aren’t respected, it is probably not to be charitable. Then claiming to use organic cotton (as an example of PR action) just can’t make it up for ethically questionable practices.
4. Learn the break down of a price tag. If a Primark t-shirt costs 5€ in retail, how much of that actually goes to the garment worker?

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– My TEDx talk about fast fashion: https://youtu.be/zRcb6GC7ZB8
– 5 years after Rana Plaza, has the situation improved?: https://www.racked.com/2018/4/13/17230770/rana-plaza-collapse-anniversary-garment-workers-safety
– Living wage report for Dhaka, Bangladesh (cf. comparison chart p.44): https://www.isealalliance.org/sites/default/files/resource/2017-12/Dhaka_Living_Wage_Benchmark_Report.pdf
– Brands which have produced at Rana Plaza: https://qz.com/78162/here-are-the-western-retailers-that-source-clothes-from-the-bangladeshi-factories-where-over-200-workers-died/
– Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety: http://bangladeshaccord.org/
– “Clean clothes” campaign: https://cleanclothes.org/
– Documentary movie: “The true cost” (worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet)


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Photos of Rana Plaza: The Guardian

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The fast fashion trap and how to escape:

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50 thoughts on “Which brands are “fast fashion”? How to tell (in 4 points) ǀ Justine Leconte

  1. This is a re-upload of today's video. There was a big mistake in the other version, which I didn't want to leave that way. Sorry about it. Now all is fine. Happy Sunday!
    PS: all my videos now come with English subtitles – tell your friends who want to train their English skills 🙂

  2. This is why I try my best to get clothing that at least will last me a long time. I may not be able to afford a totally sustainable wardrobe, but at least I can minimize my impact by not buying new products all of the time.

  3. So I am originally from Russia, where minimal wage is $140 (while the average is $400). I can't really afford anything, except these fast fashion items, and in fact, H&M and stores like that are not offering the smallest pricetag. Would be cool if brands could produce things here, because it would save a lot on logistics (russia is far closer to the europe, than bangladesh). But they won't. Because politics. Governments have decided before businesses.

    Another big problem with sweatshop factories, is that they are normally located in regiones with poor economics. People take these jobs, because their other option is hard work on the fields – the factory is less physically demanding and is not all day in the sun. In fact, in Bangladesh people compete each other for those jobs. When European customers encapsulating for local production, it will deny poor regions of their money.

  4. But what happens with brands that are a bit more expensive and they are still fast fashion? I 'm thinking for example about Massimo Dutti and Uterque from Inditex and &Otherstories from H&M group. What makes the price of these garments more expensive considering that they are made in the same factories.

  5. You look stunning Justine! Your garment’s color and pattern, cut and drape, plus your hairstyle is a super combination for you! Thanks for helping to make so many of us aware of fashion’s impact on society.

  6. I buy second-hand good quality, but I also attended seminars whose speakers would argue that boycott is not the solution, because companies will just move from a developing country to another. Apparently, if institutions don't support the people's efforts, it's not helping. I've found some statements on the Internet by NGOs that went in the same directon. BTW, I just wouldn't buy bad quality clothes that won't fit me.

  7. I really don't like fast fashion and there's so many issues with it. Aside from human rights there's the environment! I hate the idea of everyone buying 20 things per season, often in non biodegradable materials just because it's in now! Then you think about the waste and it really just makes me wonder how those companies sleep at night.

  8. This is an off topic question but do you also produce videos in French? I do speak French as a second language and would love to find content that I find interesting to keep practicing it.

  9. Is it possible that workers for Zara are paid better then workers for Bershka even thy are in same company? It feels like Zara is manifacturig better quality items then bershka but i am not sure. Anone elses opinion?

  10. Just wanted to make the point that the more expensive an item is does not mean it is a good brand either. It's funny how depending on brand the price will go way up but if you look at the tag it is the same manufacturer in Bangladesh, India, China that is making all the clothes. Add to that it is the same cheap fabrics for most brands of clothes. I've bought things many times thinking it is good quality and it isn't. I think many people would just assume the cheaper stores are fast fashion but so are almost all of the more expensive mall stores as well.

  11. Well, I buy fast fashion very occasionally. I usually buy clothes and shoes from small companies that only make products for shipping and selling in my country…

  12. This is extremely important and useful to know for consumers. I sew my own apparel I have for years but I also work as a professional pattern maker and can tell you fast fashion is truly damaging to the planet and the consumer.

  13. I shop in almost all of the shops mentioned… Is Stradivarious fast fashion too?
    I want to slowly stop buying clothes from this kind of brands but i never know which are actually ethical because they all talk bullshit about caring for their workers and environment…

  14. David Lee Roth of the band VanHalen talked about this 15 years ago
    Pointing out how sad it was that in deep Africa, natives are wearing our cast offs and no longer wearing their native clothing

  15. Where did you get your information about the list of brands that made their clothes in Rena Plaza and how safety, etc. has increased in garment factories since the tragedy in 2013?? I’m writing a paper about the fast fashion industry and would really like to know where you got that evidence, as I think it would help me with that paper. Thanks!

  16. If fast fashion were to come to an end , where will the workers work at then ? How can they get money to feed there family and themselves ? I’m sry but I can’t seem to understand :/ would appreciate if you explain ! GreAt video btw !!

  17. Sure, ethically it's wrong for the other workers and the planet and honestly knowing that sometimes keeps me up at night, but sometimes there isn't any other option for minimum and low wage worker like myself who are barely making it financially. However, people who have more financial power need to realize that boutique and even luxury brands are resorting to these fast fashion methods and charging enormously inflated prices! And that's really what's absolutely robbing the impoverished factory workers. The whole situation is really depressing and I wish more people were educated about the situation and cared enough to take even small action so thanks for making this video.

  18. I was just thinking about how nice it would be to have clothes that didn't wear out/fall apart super fast. T-shirts that don't end up covered in a million holes and aren't see through. I don't like shopping for basic garments more than I have to. I just want something that will do the job and last. And the other alternative fashion clothing I buy is of good quality at least. I was pretty bummed after buying a dress at a regular store, and how I've worn it maybe 10 times and it's already looking worn out, especially at the center front seem. Cute design, poor quality. I just want clothes that last! And ethical treatment of other human beings would be a very good thing too.

    I'm tired of being sold mass produced things that are designed to fall apart and live in a landfill. I'm not the most environmentally concious. I'm mostly motivated by sheer frustration. But the environmental impact is a valid concern. But for me personally, I hate having to keep track of and replace things constantly. I have better things to do with my time.

  19. Oh, Justine!! THANK YOU for making this video!!! You have such a gift for stating things simply and clearly. I am so grateful to have discovered your videos. I love Art, Fashion, Design & Architecture… and your videos are … they're perfect. You are so lovely. I find such inspiration listening to all the knowledge you share with us. AND, you are funny, intelligent and soothing (I know that last adjective isn't one we equate with fashion, but in this era of high stress, it's very very dear to my heart). That you shine a spotlight on what is wrong with the industry, in such concise and not overly inflated terms, makes it easier for people to hear and assimilate. I WANT TO KNOW THESE THINGS! I want to know WHERE to shop and where NOT to shop. I want to make a difference! I think a lot of us do. So, thank you for helping us.Great blessings on your life! Please continue to make these wonderful clips.

  20. You mentioned Mango as one of the brands that produces clothes with a low-cost manufacturing process and in an unethical way. But Mango clothes are about 2-3x those of H&M's or Forever21's. Why is that? Is it simply brand positioning?
    I used to assume their clothes were of better quality or that they were more ethical/ paid fairer wages at least, but seems that might not be the case.

  21. Thanks for sharing this information, I'm still learning how to figure these things out with my own research. How does one figure out how much the retailer and brand keep, and how much the garment costs for them?

  22. Hey Justine, Have you considered doing brand recommendations for body types? I'm a curvy, pear 5'4" and in the US several of the brands targeting African American women were amazing. (Venus was my favorite.) Now I live in the UK and I am "brand homeless". I'll probably investigate the UK brands that signed the Bangladesh Accord now. As always, thanks for what you do.

  23. Thank you for doing your part to make the world a more ethical and informed place! I've been sending friends to your channel as they update their wardrobes and "break up" with fast fashion.

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