What’s The Difference Between Slow & Fast Fashion Anyway?

Photo: Courtesy of Zady.
In honor of Earth Day (which, if you ask us, should be every day), we're helping to ignite a discussion on ethical fashion production, exploring what you may not know about the origins of your clothes. (No, we don't just mean whether they came from Net-A-Porter or Zara.) The infographic above, from the go-to online brand for eco-conscious consumers, Zady, lays out the major differences between fast and slow fashion. Zady has been producing eco-friendly fashion for a couple years now, and the newest addition to their line — which includes clothing for men and women, as well as home goods — is the .02 The T-Shirt, made out of organic cotton and ethically produced entirely here in the USA. Zady's infographic above sheds light on a number of negative effects that the apparel and textile industries have on the environment. But, it also highlights the positive effects proper clothing production can promise. For example, did you know that using one of Earth's most natural fibers — cotton — produces clothes that can both last a lifetime and take less than a year to decompose? Compare this to clothing made with synthetic fibers, which can take up to 200 years to break down.  It's also interesting to note that donating clothing or shoes to underprivileged communities in Africa can actually be harmful to the local garment workers and artisans: The well-intentioned gesture may actually reduce the need for local textile and craft industries, and impact the workers who depend on them. Fast (and high-street) fashion may satisfy our short-term demands, but turning our attention to garments made through a slower and more thoughtful production process is a step toward helping our planet for the long haul. Check out Zady's mind-blowing statistics above (and the full-size version, here) to learn more.

More from Fashion

R29 Original Series