According to the study ‘What prevents people repairing clothes?’ by Alison Gwilt; "Until the mid-twentieth century in Western society cloth was considered to be a valuable commodity, and clothes were regularly maintained and repaired to prolong garment use. Today the cultural and economic value attributed to clothing has on the whole dramatically changed and the practice of repairing or altering clothing has largely disappeared". Fast-fashion has brought about a new shopping experience where customers can buy and have their clothes delivered as quick as the very next day. This puts pressure on individuals trying to create slow-fashion and sustainable brands as they’re competing with what the market already has rather than creating their own industry. Gwilt insists that “within the last two to three generations the culture of repairing and altering clothes has largely disappeared, while at the same time the fashion industry has increased the availability of inexpensive, mass-produced ready- to-wear clothing “.
In my opinion, sustainable fashion is the future of the industry if we are ready to take accountability for its impact. Although fast fashion is considerably more financially profitable, it ironically costs a whole lot more. At what point do we as an industry see environmental cost as being equal with, monetary profit? The three pillars of sustainable development advocate the balance of environment, economy, and society. It is only when these three elements are balanced that true sustainable development can be achieved. Without profit a business eventually becomes unsustainable. Therefore, creating an industry with full transparency, gives the consumers the ability to learn about their clothing, attempting to bring back that notion of garments being a ‘valuable commodity’ needing maintenance thus extending their life. Perhaps if more consumers were encouraged to repair and learn about garment care, the necessary change could occur. Or perhaps, garments should be manufactured to minimise a need for repair.