Lululemon had a “We made too much” sale ongoing. It is nothing new. All fast fashion brands tend to make too much. Because the strategy for fast fashion and the culture we created is to push out the latest design into the market, make it as widely available as possible in the shortest time pricing with markups that makes construction contractor mouth water and then just deal with the leftovers later.
So how do they deal with leftovers? Sometimes they discount, which is not the most common approach because discounting damages their relationship with customers. Customers would begin to expect cheaper price later and most of them would learn to wait. That is bad for margins and future profit. So the fast fashion brands dump their clothes into other markets which don’t carry their first-to-market goods, and then eventually just dispose of the clothes.
Precious cotton and fabrics that can be used to clothe someone else goes to waste. The world is not better for it but certainly there are people made richer by this model. And so it goes on. The focus on sustainability within the fashion industry is just beginning and hopefully gets to a level when it can start snowballing properly.
So what is the alternative? How about slow fashion that focuses on classic, proven designs, that uses materials in a sustainable way? Where the cost is towards improving material traceability, better sourcing and exploration of newer, shorter supply chains? Instead of fattening corporate wallets and perpetuating the fast fashion culture?