Abercrombie and Fitch is one of the world’s oldest fashion brands and was originally founded as a provider of quality outdoors wear for experienced hunters and outdoorsmen back in 1892.
Throughout the early 20th century the company grew and had famous customers from President Theodore Roosevelt to Ernest Hemingway, however by the mid to late 20th century the company was struggling to compete with cheaper competitors and actually went out of business for a time in the ’70s.
Eventually, the company was relaunched by new owners and began to grow in popularity by focusing on teenagers at the turn of the 21st century.
The brand has always tried to market itself as an upmarket high-quality provider of clothing and accessories, however, despite the trappings of quality and successful marketing to build prestige, Abercrombie and Fitch struggled to compete with cheaper fast-fashion brands such as H&M and Forever 21.
Is Abercrombie that much different from other fast fashion brands though, or is it all marketing and branding?
In this guide, we’re going to look at whether Abercrombie and Fitch is fast fashion, as well as how to become more sustainable in your fashion and clothing habits.
What Is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion is a term that is used with regards to the highly profitable high street fashion industry which replicates and recreates high fashion trends by mass producing them at incredibly low cost and in very high amounts and selling these items at a massively cheaper price suitable for a mass market.
Often clothing and accessories made for fast fashion are produced in poor countries where they can be mass-produced for very cheap, sometimes exploitative prices which make for a lower quality product and incredibly poor conditions for the workers who make these products.
Fast fashion is used to describe these practices and the various products offered by businesses that use these practices.
Fast fashion is incredibly lucrative and there are many companies worldwide that benefit from the incredibly exploitative practices and the unsustainable impact this business model has on the environment and on people.
At a time when climate change and environmental concern is at an all-time high, fast fashion is struggling to appeal to people as more and more customers realize how wasteful and environmentally damaging fast fashion is.
Fast fashion allegedly produces some 10 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide and is second in terms of emissions behind fossil fuel/oil production, which indicates the scale of the issue and its systemic nature.
Is Abercrombie Fast Fashion?
While Abercrombie and Fitch have its roots in high-quality items and accessories, the modern brand is very far removed from its heritage, and despite its attempts at marketing itself as an edgy, high-quality brand the truth is that Abercrombie and Fitch is a fast-fashion brand.
The majority of their clothing is manufactured in the Philippines for as cheap as possible, and then shipped around the world to some 800 stores in various countries, where they are sold at a huge markup on mass.
This is the definition of fast fashion in its purest sense, even if the brand identity itself is more consistent than other brands which replicate high fashion.
Abercrombie and Fitch and its business practices make it one of the biggest fast fashion brands and while their products are expensive and marketed to a more mature and wealthier individual, the products themselves are mass-produced for cheap in Asia, much like other fast fashion brands.
How Can I Be More Sustainable?
If you’re learning about how detrimental fast fashion is to the world and to the people trapped within it, you may be looking for ways to change your habits and to become more sustainable.
More and more people are making conscious choices to stop supporting fast fashion, as this is the only way to force these companies to rethink and change their practices and systemic issues.
There are many things you can do to become more sustainable, so let’s take a look at some ways you can do this.
Wash Your Clothes Less
Washing your clothes puts a lot of strain on them, wearing them out and making them look older faster. Avoiding cleaning certain clothing items as much can make them last way longer and preserve their color and shape, meaning you save money needing to replace them and preserve them for much longer.
You will also prevent as many microfibers from entering the water supply via your laundry machine.
Organize Your Clothing
Organizing your clothing and finding new ways to pair your items can bring new life to an existing wardrobe, and can even be quite fun as you rediscover long-forgotten garments.
Doing this can also help you to create a selection of clothes you don’t want anymore which can be used in later ideas!
Try To Stick To Organic Cotton
If you do need new clothes, organic cotton is often your best option as this doesn’t release harmful chemicals and microfibers into the water supply when they are washed as synthetic materials do.
The harmful impact of synthetic materials is still only being discovered, but staying away from these materials is a great way to stop from adding to the problem.
Don’t Throw Clothing Away
When you’ve outgrown your clothing or have decided that fashion has moved on, don’t throw your clothes away! This is hugely wasteful! Instead, look at donating to a thrift store or charity!
Learn About And Support Sustainable Brands
The only way to force change is to support brands and companies that are making an effort to change their practices and become more sustainable, and stop supporting brands that continue to harm the environment.
Rework Existing Clothes And Accessories
Redesigning your clothing and altering can be a great way or updating your wardrobe for cheap and without needing to support fast fashion.
Clothes Swap With Friends
If you have some items you don’t like anymore, organize a clothes swap with a friend, as this can be a fun way to find new items you like for free, updating both your wardrobes without needing to support the fast fashion industry.
Use Charity Shops/Thrift Stores
If you do need new clothes look at charity shops, thrift stores and vintage stores as these places need support and are a great alternative to fast fashion brands.