Fast fashion is a term that’s being used more and more to discuss high street fashion these days. But, what is fast fashion? And does Urban Outfitters fall into this category?
Fast fashion carries a lot of different connotations with it these days, both good and bad. In many ways, Urban Outfitters can be considered fast fashion, but it’s not without its own sense of style.
In terms of its production and inspiration, Urban Outfitters is perhaps on the higher-end of the fast fashion spectrum.
What Is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion is a term that connotes a fashion brand or retailer that reproduces the trends from that season’s Fashion Week catwalks immediately in their stores, to reach a wider audience.
Although this term makes reference to the quick rate at which designers are able to reproduce catwalk looks at a budget-friendly, mass produced level, it has also come to stand for a dark side of the fashion industry, promoting a throwaway culture, and potentially leading to poor working conditions and wasteful practices.
According to Good On You, Urban Outfitters may well be considered fast fashion for all the wrong reasons.
In its haste to recreate some of the season’s most popular trends, Urban Outfitters has found itself at the centre of a number of controversies, including issues around the treatment of its staff – and that’s just in its stores. Despite Urban Outfitters’s commitment to making sure that their clothes are ethically sourced and produced, being in the business of fast fashion can lead to a lot of negative attention.
In What Way Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
As one of the most popular shops on the high street, Urban Outfitters take a lot of cues from the fashion elite, much like a lot of their competition such as Topshop, River Island, and ASOS.
For example, thanks to Vivienne Westwood and Thierry Mugler parading Renaissance chic down their runways, this trend has gently filtered through to the high street, with Urban Outfitters recreating this trend in a number of ways that very much still have their own trademark sense of style. Think Michelangelo style cherubs emblazoned on Urban Outfitters mesh co-ord sets.
In the truest definition of the term, this is the biggest reason why Urban Outfitters can be considered fast fashion, as they have all the means necessary in order to recreate Fashion Week trends for their stores, and on a larger scale.
Obviously, in order to do this, designs are created quickly, and garments are mass-produced equally as fast. This is where objections can creep in. However, according to Fashionista Magazine, Urban Outfitters is one of the best fast fashion retailers there is, offering good value for money on the higher end of the high street spectrum, and even some noteworthy collaborations with designers such as Calvin Klein and Fila, to offset their fast fashion reputation, and make them stand apart from other such retailers.
So, Is Fast Fashion Good Or Bad?
As with everything else in life, fast fashion has both pros and cons. Obviously, fast fashion is a good business model for the retailers, as it stimulates frequent purchases and low production costs. However, this can also be detrimental to manufacturers, consumers, employees, and the Earth.
When analysing the vast spectrum of fast fashion retailers, Urban Outfitters probably still has some work to do in terms of its carbon footprint and employee ethics, but is still more responsible than a lot of other fast fashion retailers who sell garments at the cheaper end of the spectrum.
Its links with big name brands and designers, as well as its popularity among a young, more liberally-minded demographic, potentially suggests that it still has more of a conscience than other high street stores.
Fast fashion isn’t necessarily an inherently bad thing, and Urban Outfitters does it well in terms of its unique interpretation of catwalk trends. However, if you’re looking to shop on a fast fashion budget, it’s good to remain mindful of the potential far-reaching impact supporting this fashion business model can have, and ways in which you can reduce its damage, such as only purchasing clothes that you know you will wear a lot.
Finally, although Urban Outfitters is on the more expensive end of the fast fashion scale, there is a reason for this: the quality of its products, and the original designs that they create.