"Dhaka Savar Building Collapse" by rijans - Flickr: Dhaka Savar Building Collapse.
Fast fashion is something you may be familiar with. For some, it’s a term you might not have heard before. It describes a lifespan and quality of clothes that are bought, worn and expended in a short amount of time. Basically, they’re cheap and rubbish.
The dip in quality and cost doesn’t come for free. The environment suffers. The fast fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry after drilling for oil. Water supplies are robbed and drained, hazardous chemicals are dumped and forgotten and all to save a few pounds. Fashion is, obviously, a complex industry with many people having a hand in any product made, and some companies out there want to rip off as many people as possible, in order to make the highest profits.
The people who make these low quality clothes are often abused, insulted and treated with little to no respect. Fast fashion is comparable to fast food in many ways. Sure, you can buy something cheap and will do the job, but it won’t satisfy. It won’t stand the test of time. An example of the lethality of fast fashion is the Rana Plaza tragedy that occurred in 2013. Thousands of workers, all creating fast fashion products, were stacked on top of each other and forced to create the low-cost clothing you see on the high street. Eventually, the building collapsed and many died. Five clothing companies have been charged, but the attitude to quick, cheap labour remains.
So what is the answer to all this? What can we do to oppose the growing deadly rise in fast fashion?
The antidote is slow fashion. Slow fashion is when clothing companies take responsibility and actually care about the customer. Companies who subscribe to the slow fashion cause make their products hardy, long lasting and with excellence in mind.
At Tophat London, we think clothing should be a carefully made investment. You wouldn’t go out and buy a cheap car and expect it to break down, so why buy clothes and be complacent with the shoddy quality?
Our humble vision is to focus on valuing our beloved customers, and we don’t want them to feel short changed or taken advantage of. We feel our customers should have as much information as possible about the products they are buying from us. In this age of propaganda and shallow marketing, we want to stand apart and give our patrons the truth, and nothing but the truth.
Pricing and sourcing are the main priority in our transparency model. Where we get our materials, where we source them from, why we chose those suppliers, who makes them and what we’re doing with your order. In terms of pricing, we break down the price for every customer to see. We’ll show you labour costs, the price of materials, taxes, what we paid our designers, how much we spent to get your product to you and finally, the retail price. To some companies, this would be scary. Luxury brands don’t want you to see how they inflate their prices, but we think that’s wrong. We just want to be honest.
The Rana Plaza marked a real shift in attitude within the fashion industry, and brand and retailers have noticed a change with consumers. The domination of slow fashion is many years away but that doesn’t mean it’s a useless fight. Tophat London will always campaign for honesty, fairness and loyalty within the fashion world.