In the middle ages, fashion was unrushed. People had to scrounge their own materials, for example, wool and leather, process those, thread the fabrics, and lastly, seam them with each other.
Advancements in technology, namely the sewing machine, were established during the Industrial Revolution. Making clothes grew became a hassle-free, speedier, and cheaper task.
The needs of the middle class were then met by the inauguration of dressmaking shops and businesses.
A lot of those dress-making companies employed garment labourers or home workers in their factories. Sweatshops also made an appearance during this period, and along with them arose some safety troubles.
In the 1960s and 1970s, youngsters started creating unusual trends and clothes turned into a source of self identity, however, there was still a divide among high fashion and high street.
Low-costing fashion rose to fame in the 1990s and 2000s. Fast-fashion brands including H&M, Zara, and Topshop have now established themselves as the high street brands as a result of an increase in online shopping and retail.
These brands have duplicated the tastefulness and design features of high-end fashion houses quickly and cheaply.
It is quite easy to understand how this trend picked up because everyone can now shop for their wardrobe whenever they want.
The environmental influence of fast fashion is immeasureable. Due to the move to reduce costs and shrink production times, compromises on the environment are much more likely to be made.
The adverse impact of fast fashion includes the use of cheaper, unsafe textile dyes, turning the fashion division into one of the globe’s biggest pollutants of pure water.
Which is why, through the years, Greenpeace has made use of its cleansing fashion campaigns to pressure fashion brands to eradicate hazardous toxins from their supply chains.
Extra pressure on different natural sections such as removing of forests, ecology, and dirt calibre is a result of the increasing rate and insistence.
Leather manufacture always has an environmental influence, with almost 300kg of toxins added to each 900kg of tanned animal pelts.
Due to the rapid speed at which clothes are generated, the public is getting rid of an increasing amount of clothing, which has resulted in immeasurable textile waste.
As per some calculations, well over 500 million kilos of outdated clothing are discarded in landfills in Australia per annum.
Australian brand Beginning Boutique is another fast fashion brand that has emerged in the last few years. It offers the latest trends in womenswear.
Sarah Timmerman, the brand’s founder, says her rapidly growing fast-fashion company has always pushed the envelope once it comes to meeting client expectations.
Is Beginning Boutique ethical?
Beginning Boutique, one of Australia’s most successful fast-fashion businesses, has always done things somewhat uniquely.
Sarah Timmerman founded the brand in 2008 when she was just 21 years old, and it rapidly became the go-to place for Insta-worthy event and party apparel.
Although Beginning Boutique is a self-proclaimed fast fashion brand, it has been focusing on a different global challenge for 2021: sustainability.
Sarah claims that she began the BB Better commitment in end of 2020 because she is deeply committed to becoming a good global citizen.
Beginning Boutique Better (or BB Better) concentrates its efforts on social and environmental effects, such as packaging, recycling, and community service.
Beginning Boutique has also changed all its packaging to be biodegradable and compostable. They have also begun changing all their fabrications in their factories and have a solar powered warehouse.
The company’s goal is to have a carbon-neutral business by 2026. Sarah also donates 1% of all sales to charity.
You can find their environmental aims here: Sustainability Equality – Beginning Boutique
But despite all that, the environment rating for Beginning Boutique is ‘not good enough.’
The brand just makes use of very few environmentally sustainable components. There is no corroboration that it has set a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The brand also fails to have grasped any noteworthy steps to diminish or remove unsuitable materials. There is also no evidence that it takes water preservations actions.
Beginning Boutique has a’very poor’ employment grade.
To receive a higher ranking, it does not publish enough relevant information regarding its labour policy. As a customer, you get the responsibility to information about how the company’s products affect its employees.
There is no evidence that the brand has any policy in place to eliminate animal cruelty.
It’s made of wool. Leather, down, exotic animal hair, angora, fur, or exotic animal skin are not used.
There is no proof that it connects any animal product back to the initial stages of the manufacturing process.
Where does it get its clothes?
Beginning Boutique is currently located in the heart of West End.
When the global economic crisis came, Beginning Boutique had to adjust its product line, since customers with smaller wallets sought fast fashion.
Beginning Boutique now gets a lot of its goods from West End merchants who source clothing from all around the world.
Founder Sarah Timmerman states that she would love nothing more to stock items from small-scale businesses in Brisbane, but that is not what the consumers want and so they had to switch to a fast fashion model.
Clothing and footwear accounted for 27% of overseas parcel deliveries in 2019, indicating that fashion is a top frontrunner in Australia’s eCommerce exports.
Fast fashion will never be sustainable because its entire business strategy is based on unending expansion and resource exploitation. They’re focused on generating as much as possible, as quickly as possible.
Brands such as Beginning Boutique are profiting from the climate issue by preying on consumers’ desire to be more environmentally conscious and sustainable.
Fast fashion will, unfortunately, remain intact and prosper, and we’d be fooling ourselves if we thought otherwise.
But it’s a step too far for fast fashion powerhouses to make a mockery of firms who promote sustainability.
Brands can either choose to embrace change or stick to their old ways, but it’s past time for them to stop trying to disguise fast fashion as anything other than it is.