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Fast-fashion is ‘an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions,’ that skyrocketed at the start of the 21st century. This strategy combines three main ideologies: Quick response, frequent-assortment of changes, fashionable designs at affordable prices.

There has been a fundamental shift within the clothes industry, resulting in a transformation in manufacturing to mainly developing in Asian countries in the pursuit of lower production costs. Sull and Turnconi (2008) indicate that Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, and other international retailers have transformed the fashion industry by embracing and pioneering fast-fashion. This method centers on quick response manufacturing designed to knock off a design quickly, keep raw materials on hand, only make more if it is successful, and streamline the distribution of affordable items to the masses. Hayes and Jones (2006) cite this fast response tactic as the source of unparalleled commercial profit and have elevated consumer participation.

Retailers such as Zara searching for an updated and more profitable approach, popularised fast-fashion with help from widespread globalization (Sull and Turconi, 2008). Fast-fashion has produced a sequence of rising trend turnovers and employing marketing skills to captivate consumers’ impulse behavior in an attempt to increase consumption and maximize profits. Choi (2016) suggests that the strategy pushed fast-fashion brands into the forefront of the fashion industry, suddenly becoming the exemplar. Comparatively, the womenswear industry average rose by 1% from 2001 to 2005, while fash-fashion sales rose 31%.

Moreover, Forbes (2016) ranked Zara 53rd in the World’s Most Valuable Brands worth $10.7 Billion and stated that H&M was worth $60.8 Billion, with 3,716 stores worldwide. These brands profit from these tactics; however, these retailers rely on additional intake to maintain their progress. Accordingly, fast-fashion brands frequently restock and apply techniques to feed the ‘must-have’ consumerist lifestyle to continuously increase profits. By creating a need to stay on-trend, retailers influence consumers to purchase items regularly to consolidate a disposable culture that discards articles of clothing often too regularly.

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Moreover, this argument posits that capitalism favors commodities and profit while disregarding human and environmental assets (Hudson and Hudson, 2003). Regarding fast-fashion, retailers focus on profit, decreasing response time, and boosting production, without consideration of the social and ecological harm caused. Under capitalism, it fits easier to seek these appealing pieces than to examine the environmental effects of their production. Hudson and Hudson (2003) note that the logic behind the bourgeoisie’s peaceful bliss of capitalism covers the social and the environmental features of production. Debatably there is disunion between consumers buying clothes and the broader ecological results as the consumerist culture shields itself from seeing the cost. Furthermore, Marxism would suggest that the indulgence of commodity fetishism and need-satisfaction consumption can exacerbate the costs and, in this case, harm to the environment.

Cook and Yurchisin (2017) argue that today’s consumers are considerably more fashion-orientated and demanding, which forces brands to cycle their stock more frequently. For brands to capture the profit, they need to predict trends and implement a fast preroll-times to satisfy customers’ developing demand. A ‘musthave’ nature has developed from need-satisfaction consumption, prompting fastfashion to refresh their products quicker year after year (Claudio, 2007). This ‘musthave’ attitude also confirms Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism as fast-fashion is arguably driven by the passion of consumers as they converge on following the latest style, rather than basing purchases on need (Carrier, 2010). Thus, manufacturers ignore the condition of the social and environmental impression to produce commodities. Therefore, the fast-fashion industry is only reacting to consumers’ demands, which previously existed, instead of compelling buyers to consume more. This review will accordingly examine whether consumers buy articles of clothing out of necessity or to remain in style.

In the wake of developments in technological, a socio-cultural shift has occurred in the industry’s landscape, in which consumers have become aware of breaking trends and request them in a low-cost, effective way. Nevertheless, Solomon and Rabolt (2009) specify that there can be adverse facets to these buyer responses to individuals and corporations. Some buyer responses are innate in cultural influences and the social significance set on wealth. Expression through style websites, social media, and a celebrity lifestyle may produce an unachievable notion of beauty and prosperity. However, frequently buyers strive towards the way of life exhibited in social media, ending in buyers pursuing trends and overconsumption. Fast-fashion retailers best reflect this in their practice of regularly cycling their products at inexpensive rates. It might even be disputed that young adults are most influenced by this societal shift, as social media is rooted in their culture.

This research review has presented data that global apparel intake standards have expanded within the 21st century, parallel to the rise of fast-fashion. Therefore, it would be useful to recognize what intake standards are demographically intrinsic to promote or dispute the research. The research produces two distinct hypotheses for the increased intake. Firstly, it can be to fast-fashion brands’ focus on expanding earnings and globally growing their businesses. Still, a different contention proposes that brands are only satisfying buyer desires for rising fashion turnover. Buyer hopes and habits have evolved due to technological progress and the societal changes that ensued.

The effects and tensions need to be recognized so the environment can be valued and preserved. Sensitizing environmental concerns is a necessary means of correcting these concerns. Nevertheless, the fashion industry will also require changes. A two-pronged approach is necessary to promote understanding so the environment can be valued and preserved.

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