Fashion fades, quality and style are permanent

Tuesday, 2 June 2020  |  Admin

Fashion fades, quality and style are permanent

Fast fashion has become modern society’s addiction. It emerged in the early 2000’s and for
the first time, gave the average person the ability to grab the latest looks, soon after they’d
appeared on the catwalks of London, New York, Milan and Paris. Before this, fashion was
more cyclical, the big designer houses led and high street stores followed many months or
even a year after. It seems strange now that high street retailers often prided themselves on
being able to get a small taste of a big catwalk trend within the same season. More often
than not, the average consumer had to wait a season or even a year before they could buy
into what they’d seen from the big fashion houses. To begin with the benefits of fast
fashion outweighed the negatives. It levelled the fashion playing field with all of us being
able to wear the latest looks.

However, in more recent times, we’ve seen that this benefit comes at a price. To get these
looks quickly, many retailers will fly their collections in rather than using the former industry
standard of shipping them. The number of collections has increased too with some high St
retailers launching up to 400 new styles every week and we now have more choice than we
ever could’ve imagined. Unfortunately, to get new items into stores quickly, brands have to
make compromises and sadly this has led to an often-well-deserved reputation for low
quality. With time in short supply, there isn’t time to carry out rigorous testing and select
fabrics and trims based on how suitable they’ll be for the end use. Coupled with cheap
prices, we’ve ended up with clothing that may not wear well and is easily thrown away. We
tend to think of fast fashion as being cheap and disposable and that is part of the problem.
The throwaway culture that has been born out of fast fashion has a serious impact on our
environment with an estimated £140 millions of clothing ending up in landfill each year.
Unfortunately, this is not the end of fashion’s effect on our planet. We want more, so we
produce more and it’s thought that the clothing industry accounts for around 10% of global
carbon emissions. There is also a human side to our constant need for new looks. With
turnaround tight, there isn’t always the time for retailers to make thorough checks of the
factories they are using. As fashions change, new production sites are added to provide
speciality manufacturing and these may only be used for one season. This can lead to
retailers not knowing what is happening within the factories they are using. Are the workers
well treated or do they have to work for low money over excessive hours? Are these
workers safe or are they at risk of serious harm or abuse? Without the time to fully
investigate new manufacturing sites, it can be difficult to know.

We believe that a cheap price is often only skin deep too. The quick hit of a new fashion-
right look can quickly turn to disappointment when holes appear after one wash or a hem
falls down. There is also a cost ‘v’ wear equation that many people don’t consider when
making a purchase. Dividing the cost of your clothing by the number of times you wear it,
can give you an idea of its real value. For example, an item of clothing that costs £5 but is
only worn once then discarded has a real cost of £5 per wear. Whereas, an item costing £50
that’s worn at least once weekly for two to three years has a real cost closer to 30p per
wear. Investing in higher quality clothing albeit at a higher price, can offer better value for
money.

When we established Fable and Eve, the question we asked ourselves was; what do we
want to stand for? We made a conscious decision not to join the fast-fashion party. Instead
we chose to produce less styles and replace them less frequently. We use the same factories
we’ve been using for decades with workers we’ve known for many years. We apply the
same principles to our suppliers too, working with trusted fabric and trim manufacturers
who share our values. Above all, we chose to consciously select fabrics that would have a
minimal effect on the world around us to produce nightwear that would last for years. The
Coco Chanel quote ‘Fashion fades, style is permanent’ struck a real chord with our team and
whilst we wouldn’t want to tinker with such a great sentiment, in today’s society we believe
style and quality are permanent.