3 Reasons Why It's More Costly to Purchase Fast-Fashion Clothes

February 22, 2024

According to Wall Street Journal, the average person only wears 20% of the clothes in their closet. Yet shopping for clothes still remain an enjoyable process for many.  The idea of being able to enjoy a new look at a low-price sound great. This is the motivation for many consumers to choose purchasing cheaper clothes instead of quality clothes. However, purchasing cheap clothes are more expensive than purchasing quality clothes of higher prices.

At this point, you might be thinking ‘What?! How can it be more expensive to buy cheap clothes?’, that the disparity in prices have already been expressed on the price tags. Let’s look at why buying quality clothes are easier on the pocket.

The lifespans of fast fashion clothes in your closet are substantially shorter than those of quality clothes

Let’s say that you’re searching for a shirt for work. A working shirt at a fast fashion store might cost you $40. Assuming that you wear them for an interview, the cost of wearing the shirt would be $50. If you wear it 5 times, it would be $10. However, because of the thread work, lint balls and pilling may begin to form on the shirt.  This is because fast fashion clothes are made of 100% low-grade cotton which wear and tear easily. Each time the shirt wears out, you will have to replace it. Such incidences might happen 3-4 times a year.

However, let’s say that you invest in a quality dress shirt of higher price range. For example, this shirt might set you back at $100 when you purchase it. It may cost twice the price of the former initially. With the right laundry services, this shirt can be worn many times over the years without having to be replaced. These shirts might require dry cleaning, which often sounds costly. However, with platforms such as Sendhelper, you can laundry services at your doorstep are available in Singapore at an affordable rate. Quality laundry services helps you to maintain the quality of your clothes throughout the years. In comparison to replacing shirts a few times a year and replacing a shirt once every few years, the latter option is cheaper than the former. Furthermore, if you wear this shirt more than 16 times a year, the cost of wearing the shirt would be way below $10.

Fast fashion warps your notion of value

Though we all enjoy discounts and savings, the rise of fast fashion causes us to expect that the prices of our clothing cost close to nothing. Yet this cost is allocated elsewhere. According to Independent, ‘pressure to reduce cost and the time it takes a product from design to shop floor means that environmental corners are more likely to be cut’. Not only does the hastened process of producing fast fashion clothing causes more damage to the environment, but the clothes also produced are of lesser quality. We end up compromising the quality of our environment because of some cost savings.

You will grow accustomed to the low quality of fast fashion clothes

As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for ‘. Nothing truer than these words can be used to describe fast fashion clothes. The cheap price paid for these clothes means not only are your clothes made of cheap fabrics, but the workmanship of these clothes is also likely to be of low quality too. It is a common sight for fast fashion clothes to have defects such as small holes or running thread noticed after purchase. Due to the low cost of these purchases, consumers are less likely to feel bothered by the idea of throwing these defective purchases away as they don’t cost much. With our lowered expectations towards the quality of clothes, we grow accustomed to low quality fast fashion clothes. The act of throwing away clothes before wearing them repeats itself frequently. What we should take note of is that while these clothes may be cheap, throwing these new clothes away is also throwing hard earned money away. While we may not feel the pinch at the moment of discarding the defective piece, it is a substantial amount when we add all the costs of throwing different defective pieces away. When all these costs are added together, the amount spent on fast fashion is higher than the amount spent of quality clothes and the laundry services required for maintenance.

To summarise, here are a few distinctive differences between slow fashion and fast fashion.

Production Speed for Fast Fashion: Rapid production, frequent releases, and trend-driven. Production Speed for Slow Fashion: Slower pace, emphasis on craftsmanship, and timeless designs.
Ethical and Sustainable Practices for Fast Fashion: Often involves unethical labor and contributes to environmental issues. Ethical and Sustainable Practices for Slow Fashion: Prioritizes ethical labor, sustainable materials, and eco-friendly practices.
Design Philosophy for Fast Fashion: Quick replication of current trends with less emphasis on uniqueness. Design Philosophy for Slow Fashion: Focuses on timeless, versatile designs and enduring style.
Consumer Behaviour for Fast Fashion: Promotes disposable fashion and frequent, trend-driven purchases. Consumer Behaviour for Slow Fashion: Encourages mindful, intentional shopping and investing in quality pieces.
Environmental Impact for Fast Fashion: High environmental impact due to resource-intensive processes and textile waste. Environmental Impact for Slow Fashion: Strives for sustainability through eco-friendly materials and responsible consumption.

Finding clothes which fit and maintaining them through time is a challenge. However, a variety of services such as clothing subscription services and laundry services, like Sendhelper, are available in Singapore to answer these needs. The key is to find which of these services suit your needs best.

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