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Why your clothing doesn’t last as long as it used to

Why your clothing doesn’t last as long as it used to

There’s no denying it - the quality of clothing available to buy is gradually declining. A fact that becomes very clear when you walk into a vintage store & see clothes that are 50 years old looking good as new & then think back to your wardrobe which is home to garments that are only a few months old & have already seen better days.

With the way the fashion industry is headed, there will be no vintage stores left in 30 years time - none of our clothes will have survived long enough to get there.

But what has caused this reduction in the quality & durability of our clothing?

It essentially boils down to the way the modern fashion industry works. Fashions are made to change extremely quickly with some brands offering new styles every week. This business model relies on making people feel like they are constantly one step behind the trend & thus have to continue buying to keep up to date. However, for those who are less fashion or trend conscious, the fear of being left behind may not be enough to keep them purchasing new items regularly, therefore, the industry has created a foolproof method to ensure sales continue to boom.

It goes like this:
  1. Companies hastily create or copy ‘on trend’ designs;
  2. they draw up a simple pattern that will make the garment quick & cheap to construct (regardless of the impact this poorly considered pattern may have on the fit of the garment);
  3. the garment is then manufactured en masse using the cheapest materials & methods available.
  4. We end up buying very cheap, low quality items that will quickly fall apart, meaning we are forced to replace them quickly.
The problem is, this cycle of buying cheap clothing & having to replace it within a few months is becoming the norm. The clothing is so cheap we don’t think twice about how long it will last us as we can easily afford to buy another piece in a few weeks & we get to have a fun new clothing item. However, this pattern and its increased acceptance has become extremely detrimental to:
  • Our bank accounts - we end up spending more replacing cheap clothes than we would if we bought more expensive, durable items in the first place.
  • Clothing design - the constant demand for new styles in the fast fashion model leaves little room for creativity meaning that many designs are created quickly, inspired by already existing trends or are simply direct knock-offs from other successful brands.
  • The environment - Our clothes are now seen as disposable with thousands of tonnes sent to landfills every year. A large portion of donated clothes also end up in landfill as they are in such poor condition they can’t be sold. The production & disposal of clothing on such an enormous scale has made the fashion industry the second highest source of pollution in the world.

So how can you buck the trend & find clothing that will last?

It can be difficult to find clothing that’s made to last. It’s important to remember that price does not necessarily indicate quality or durability. Read our article on ‘9 quick ways to assess the quality of clothing’ to get started & don’t settle for poor quality clothing because the alternative is more difficult to find.

It can also help to seek out brands that don’t conform to the fast fashion model, people who produce less frequent but higher quality designs are also more likely to use durable materials & construction methods, however, you should still always check the garment quality yourself. 

**Want to know more about fashion? For need to know fashion info, simple styling tips & tricks & an insight into how your clothing is actually made, CLICK HERE.**

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