The term “fast fashion” carries with it, a negative connotation; one that implies inequality, oppression, and wastefulness. Brands like H&M and Zara, two of the fast fashion industry’s biggest names, have tried to spin a positive image by promoting eco-friendly and ethically made and sourced lines within their brands. But what does the future hold for these fast fashion figureheads?
The fast fashion of the future merges the concept and design process of an atelier with the speed of a fast fashion producer into your own home. The Post-Couture Collective is an online website where, for a small fee, anyone can download the pattern to create anything imaginable. Dedicated to using recycled and sustainable materials, The Post-Couture Collective offers material suggestions and a link to a website that has been confirmed to only sell recycled and sustainable materials. If you can dream it, you can wear it.
Electroloom, a brand trying to bring the design, manufacturing, and production process closer to home. In fact, this small and unassuming box is a space for 3-D printed clothing. The clothes printed from this device are made from a mix of liquid polyester and cotton. There are no seams or stitches found on any of the printed clothing, making each garment considerably stronger than their stitched and seamed counterparts. The printing process takes about 16-18 hours, depending on the design. Unfortunately, Electroloom was unable to acquire the necessary funding to move forward from prototype to mass production; but it does inspire hope in the idea that the future of fast fashion is much closer than before.
Fast fashion may have gained a negative reputation from an “out of sight, out of mind” operation and mentality; one that both brand and consumer have used to justify the cruel and wasteful ways in which the garments are produced. Though literally “printing” our closets may still be a few years out, thanks to advancements in technology and the textile industry, the future of fast fashion is taking on a whole new meaning.