Fast fashion is a contemporary term used by fashion retailers to express the ability of designs to move quickly from catwalk to shop floor to capture current fashion trends.
Owing to the instant coverage of fashion and street style online, retailers must respond quickly to changing fashion trends, which now take place in weeks, instead of months. Where once it took six months for a product to go from cutting room to shop floor, this time has been slashed to as little as two weeks.
This increase in productivity is causing serious consequences for the environment - textile waste is piling up at catastrophic levels with millions of tonnes of clothing going to landfill prematurely. Even the recipients of our exported unwanted clothing are getting close to capacity.
The slow fashion movement has arisen in opposition to fast fashion, blaming it for pollution (both in the production of clothes and in the decay of synthetic fabrics), shoddy workmanship and highlighting brief trends over classic style. Fast fashion has also come under criticism for contributing to poor working conditions in developing countries.
Taking all this into account, it is less 'costly' to yourself, and to the world, to buy one item you will wear frequently, than several items you will barely get any wear out of. The message is clear - buy better quality clothing, less of it, and wear it more often.