World War II caused “an increase in standardized production for all clothing” and drove people to adopt a cheaper, more practical sense of style. The new trend continued into the 1960s and beyond, as young people embraced the idea of wearing cheap clothing made by cheap labor and cheap access to resources.
With fast fashion, large groups of people can produce large quantities of clothing with the help of machines, as opposed to the older, more difficult methods involving individuals and groups producing garments one at a time by hand.
According to Panaprium blog writer Alex Assoune, the low-cost method of fast fashion can produce clothes in such a quantity and quality that allows consumers to instantly and affordably satisfy themselves and keep up with weekly trends. It also gives businesses the chance to supply the ever-growing global clothing demand.
As well as allowing both consumers and businesses to benefit greatly, fast fashion also holds the economies of developing countries together by providing employment opportunities for those countries’ citizens. An article by Bear Market blog writer Emily Parrish makes a point that when we criticize fast fashion brands for underpaying workers in poorer countries, we base what classifies a decent wage based on our standards as citizens of a developed country.
As the article puts it, “from country to country, standards (for classifying a living wage) can greatly differ,” and in a country where many people work for fast-fashion companies, like Cambodia, people spend less because they make less. However, articles from Theguardian.com and Thinkprogress.org, as well as Parrish’s article state that fast fashion companies have in fact helped to raise the minimum wage for their workers, stating that the minimum wage has doubled in five years.
Countries like America thrive on consumerism, and fast fashion provides businesses the chance to quickly and affordably sustain this consumerism while maintaining the global economy and helping to employ less fortunate people in less fortunate countries.