What is Fast Fashion and why is it so bad?

Fast fashion is just that, produced ‘fast’ and a large portion of the industry is responsible for a lot of the dirty and polluting and exploitative side of fashion. 

Something Roberta Lee, The Sustainable Stylist and founder of Ethical Brand Directory points out is that:

“ethically produced is very different to being sustainable and we must not forget that no matter how sustainable a brand claims to be, it's about the volume of products they produce, how they are produced (quality) and impact the materials have (on the people who make them and the planet) another indicator of how ‘unsustainable’ a brand is can be  how frequently they release new collections.  Producing less and using a made to order model is a real marker for sustainability.” 

When we explore what sustainability means, it's about the excessive impact that things have on our environment and resources. These facts by WRAP highlight just how bad the fashion industry is in terms of impact. 

Fast Fashion Facts

Fast fashion Mass Produced Cheap Clothing 

  • Buying just one white cotton shirt produces the same amount of emissions as driving 35 miles in a car  (source: WRAP) 

  • In one month alone, the carbon footprint of new clothes bought in the UK was greater than flying a plane around the world 900 times (source: WRAP) 
  • Clothing production is the third biggest manufacturing industry after the automotive and technology industries. Textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined  (source: House of Common Environmental Audit Committee, 2019)

It's clear that fashion is a very resource intensive process that emits a lot of pollution. The current fashion model is broken,  therefore, fast-fashion can never be part of the solution. 

The Morphbag is NOT fast-fashion 

Ethically Made Bags - Slow Fashion Vegan Collection  Yellow Tote Bag, Yellow Clutch NOT fast fashion

Green Pepper & Mustard Morphbag Handbag Set 

The Morphbag has been created in limited runs, which means it can avoid unnecessary waste. Since the collection is seasonless - it never goes out of style, nor does it fall victim to passing trends. The Morphbag was designed to be relevant for decades - and our founder Giovanna truly believes sustainability is about buying better and buying less. 

This is why you will never see us launching new products every season. 

The Morphabg is a slow-fashion brand and whilst we are not perfect, we are transparent about what we do, how we do it, where we do it, the materials we use and how they are made - as well as what areas we feel we need to improve on (and by when). You can read more about this on our transparency page, along with our commitment to sustainability and ethical production - and our timelines for improvement. We are also proud to be working towards the Sustainable Development Goals: SDG12, SDG15, SDG17 and will be reporting against these goals at the end of each year. 

Fast Fashions Impact
Women working at machines at Fast fashion factory  

Image source: The Clean Clothes Campaign 


Traditionally Fast Fashion reproduced designs and fashion trends set buy Design Fashion Houses. Nowadays fast-fashion is influenced by popular culture, social media can create a micro-trend that goes viral - and fast-fashion retailers try to cash in on these before the trend dies out. This means they have to produce FAST and as cheaply as possible so they are ready to jump on the next trend which could be days or a matter of weeks.

The true cost is not absorbed by the CEOs, instead the cost is transferred to suppliers, who often inflict  unfair treatment on their workforce in order to meet deadlines and production targets.  All of this is done without consideration of environmental effects - and often waterways are polluted with chemicals and land is over-farmed for cotton crops. Fast fashion’s impact goes unnoticed by most of us in developed countries - as it's out of sight. 

We asked Roberta Lee, The Sustainable Stylist her thoughts on this, as she works with all kinds of brands and is very outspoken on the challenges we face with fast-fashion brands greenwashing

“It is this exact type of business model that cannot ever be ‘sustainable’, regardless of how much recycled polyester they use, and how many trees they plant - it will always come back down to HOW MUCH they produce, overproduction is the antithesis of sustainability” 

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