Is Fast-Fashion Taking Over?

Companies are doing everything and anything they can in order to stay afloat during these rough economic times, whether its flash sales, utilizing social media, or teaming with other designers. Most recently we have seen many retailers turning to “fast-fashion” in order to cut costs, increase revenue and ensure a fast turn-around. H&M and Zara are old pro’s when it comes to successful fast-fashion but as times get harder and business gets slower, other retailers are looking to H&M and Zara and attempting to jump on the fast-fashion bandwagon.
Some consumers are skeptical when they hear the term “fast-fashion,” writing it off as cheap and low quality copies of runway looks. Yet companies such as Brooklyn Industries aim to dispute this perception and simply emulate runway looks at a fast rate and offer them for less. Instead of outsourcing their work to China, Hong Kong, or Italy; these companies are looking inward to manufacturers in the U.S. in order to produce the products and get them on the sales floor faster and less expensively.
With the current economic state, consumers are eager to get trendy apparel but are less willing to pay the price for designer labels. Companies are finding they now have to revamp their old way of doing things in order to cater to their consumers and offer the trendy clothes they want and crave at a justifiable price.
Fast-fashion completely changes the old order of fashion. Instead of waiting 90+ days for merchandise to be produced and put on the sales floor, fast-fashion is offering production and sales in just 14 days. Trends come in and out and fashion moves so fast that fast-fashion is crucial in order to ensure that the customer is buying their trend focused merchandise from store other than H&M, Forever 21, or Zara. It seems as though consumers are caring less and less about the quality of their “trend-focused” merchandise and more about getting it while it is hot and getting it at a reasonable price.
The rise of fast-fashion is not only increasing revenue for stores but also allowing for more opportunities and more business for U.S. based producers and manufacturers. New York vendors proximity allow for faster production and more affordable prices. So it seems to be a win-win for retailers as well as New York or U.S. based vendors/producers. Brooklyn Industries shift to fast-fashion and moving some of their production to New York has already started paying off. they have seen an11% increase in sales after moving some of their production to Dumbo and midtown Manhattan.
Although some people are still skeptical with the fast-fashion movement, it is undoubtedly making a splash in the retail world and keeping stores like H&M and Zara relevant. Since so many retailers are following their lead it appears fast-fashion will not be fast to disappear. We will always love our high quality, high-end designers, but we won’t always be able to afford them, and the solution for that appears to be fast-fashion when it comes to buying trends!
-Laine Pepp
Source; Crains New York

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