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Timeless Fashion vs. Fast Fashion

Should you invest in timeless fashion or save with fast fashion?

There are more fast fashion brands than ever before, but does that mean that you should fill your wardrobe with low-qualityfashion pieces that will only be on trend for one season?

Or is it a better idea to invest in timeless items that are guaranteed to last you a lifetime?

We take a closer look at these two very different methods of clothing production and examine which one is better for you and for the fashion industry as a whole.

What is fast fashion?

As the name suggests, fast fashion is fashion that is designed to be produced and sold as quickly as possible. For example, if you see a new fashion trend on the catwalk, fast fashion retailers will quickly churn out items that follow this style and sell them in vast quantities.

Some examples of fast fashion brands include Zara, H&M, and Forever 21.

Often these trendy clothing items are made from cheap fabrics and are not produced to a very high standard. Clothes also produce a lot of waste, with levels reaching the million tons.

What is timeless fashion?

On the other end of the spectrum, you have timeless fashion brands that offer slow fashion. This means that they produce items that are designed to outlive the seasonal trends and last a long time.

Often, timeless fashion brands produce ethical fashion which aims to reduce their carbon footprint and stay mindful of the use of fossil fuels while simultaneously producing high-quality garments.

Some examples of timeless fashion brands include Judith Leiber, Tom Ford, and Ralph Lauren.

Slow fashion items such as a couture crystal bag or a pair of designer shoes are made from high-quality materials and are often handcrafted for a superior finish.

What are the key differences between fast fashion and slow fashion?

  1. Fast fashion has a shorter production cycle

Fast fashion items are designed to be produced, shipped, and sold as quickly as possible so that consumers can enjoy the latest trends as soon as they are seen on the catwalk.

While this may seem like a good thing, this fast process means that the items are mass-produced in clothing factories overseas, where the working conditions may be below par.

  1. Slow fashion prioritizes sustainability

If you are concerned about the environmental impact your choice of fashion has, then slow fashion brands are much more on the ball when it comes to sustainability. They are more likely to track their materials, minimize textile waste and ensure their garment workers are given a good rate of pay.

  1. Slow fashion is more expensive

Typically, timeless pieces are more expensive than fast fashion ones as they are made with higher quality materials and better workmanship.

For example, designer bags are often handmade, whereas fast fashion accessories will be mass-produced by a machine.

Therefore, if you want more bespoke pieces, then slow fashion is definitely the better option.

  1. Fast fashion is more affordable

If you like to change your entire wardrobe to accommodate the trends every season, then fast fashion allows you to do this without blowing your budget.

With so many fast fashion brands on the market, competition is fierce between each fast fashion company, so prices are lower than ever before. Particularly if you look out for seasonal sales and special promotions.

  1. Slow fashion lasts longer

One of the key differences between fast and slow fashion is that the latter is designed to last. Although it may cost you more to buy a new item, it will remain in good condition for much longer.

Slow fashion items are also created to be permanent parts of your wardrobe and can be incorporated into lots of different looks, thus proving themselves to be great investments.

  1. Fast fashion is more accessible

The demand for high fashion remains high, which means that you can find items in almost every major retailer in the United States. This makes this type of fashion more accessible and inclusive.

Slow fashion, on the other hand, tends to be much more selective, and you will only find a small number of sizes ranges and limited amount of stock.

  1. Slow fashion is more socially aware

If social justice and environmental awareness are important to you, timeless fashion brands will try to address these concerns. Typically, slow fashion retailers produce clothes in a way that is designed to adapt to environmental and social concerns.

They are also more likely to be community-minded and support local supply chains.

Fast fashion vs. slow fashion

As you can see from the above, these two methods of clothing production couldn’t be any more different, but is one really better than the other? Or do they both have a place in the world of fashion?

Let’s take a closer look.

Benefits of slow fashion

  • Better for the environment
  • Often ethically-produced
  • Higher quality materials and craftmanship
  • Garments will last longer
  • More bespoke and original designs

Drawbacks of slow fashion

  • Can be cost-prohibitive for some

Benefits of fast fashion

  • More affordable
  • More accessible

Drawbacks of fast fashion

  • Strain on the environment
  • Poorer conditions for workers
  • Less exclusivity
  • Lower quality materials and production


While it is clear that neither of these ways of producing and selling fashion is going to go away any time soon, there has definitely been a shift in consumers’ attitudes to fashion brands in the last few years.

Not too long ago, fast fashion was the preferred method of shopping for the masses, but now, many more consumers are coming round to the idea of investing in a few key items for their wardrobe that promise to last.

Not only is slow fashion better for the environment and the workers within the fashion industry, but it is also better for you as a fashion aficionado.

You can enjoy more bespoke and unique pieces, meaning you don’t have to worry about looking the same as everyone else.

Furthermore, if you choose to invest in designer items, these will always hold their value, and they can be passed down from one generation to the next.  

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