HOW IT STARTED
Tracing back to the 1980s, when the global textile and apparel competition reached its peak of intensity, the Kurt Salmon Associates was formed by the leaders in the U.S apparel industry, in the hopes of finding a way to reduce losses and improve the apparel production technology. As a result of the study, the “Quick Response” strategy was developed, in which case, retailers and suppliers collaborate by sharing information to generate the fastest market response (Lummus and Vokurka 1999). This method is now used to back fast fashion in terms of time being removed between design and production, which allows companies to release new collections more quickly, and from that, incentivize customers to visit the stores more frequently.
The “Quick Response” method is now used to back fast fashion in terms of time being removed between design and production, which allows companies to release new collections more quickly, and from that, incentivize customers to visit the stores more frequently. According to Fletcher (2008) and Skov (2002), to produce low-cost clothing based on the most current, high-end fashion in a compressed time of a few weeks instead of a few months, fast-fashion companies mostly rely on fast cycles. A fast cycle consists of rapid prototyping, small batches with large variety, more efficient transportation and delivery, and floor-ready merchandise (Joy, Sherry, Venkatesh, Wang, and Chan 2012).
FAST FASHION HAS EVOLVED AROUND THE WORLD
Much to our surprise, most of the names that we are familiar with such as Zara, H&M, Mango, Topshop, and many more, are fast fashion brands. Taking Zara as an example: the brand’s parent company, Inditex, owns 2,700 stores over more than 60 countries, is currently valued at $24 billion and has annual sales of $8 billion. This shows us how ubiquitous fast fashion is and how we are all contributing to its ever-growing empire, or in other words, ever-growing consequences.