In this economy, who doesn’t want to save money whenever or wherever they can? That applies to everything we need in our day-to-day lives, whether it’s your grocery bill, putting gas in your car or buying clothes. Taking the cheaper route for your clothes has been around for ages. But is what’s considered fast fashion worth it? 

Fast fashion is described as the replication of trends and designer looks, but at a much lower cost. Those items are mass-produced and quickly provided to retail stores. Courtney A. Hammonds is the owner of fashion consulting agency, CAH and Co., and considers himself a dean of fashion. He weighs in on some of the benefits and risks of fast fashion.

Instant Access

Perhaps the best thing about fast fashion is the instant access to it.

“Typically, people start with that instant gratification when it comes to trends,” Hammonds explained.

All it takes is a simple trip to your favorite store or browsing through a retail website. You can find the shoes or dress, or a duped version of what you’re looking for. Check out and it’s yours. Hammonds says there shouldn’t be a limit to how often you find these cost efficient styles.

“I think it depends on your day-to-day practices, what industry you’re in, and your social networking.”


Clothes that don’t break the bank are always desirable. Looking good doesn’t mean that you have to spend hundreds of dollars every time you want to purchase an outfit.

“What I love about fast fashion is, there is a lot of affordable offers whether it’s online or brick and mortar. It allows that person to fall in the imaginary world of luxury.”

On the other hand, affordability could also be considered a downside of fast fashion if you want a more exclusive look. These products aren’t just an easy grab for you, but for many other people, too.

Style Variety

Fast fashion also offers a wide variety of different styles that cater to different consumers. This includes choosing different colors and prints in the styles you like. An alternative to this is what Hammonds refers to as slow fashion. Slow fashion usually comes from a designer, whether new or more established. They may have a collection of pieces versus a big distribution of clothes. It gives you a more unique look, but you won’t be offered a very big selection of items to choose from.

Environmental Concerns

When you’re done with that trendy blazer or unique pair of shoes, what’s next? Do you just throw them away? This is why Hammonds encourages more sustainable, long-lasting pieces instead of one hit wonders. Sustainable fashion refers to the efforts to decrease the environmental impacts and harsh working conditions that can happen with mass manufacturing clothing pieces. Hammonds believes addressing serious problems like waste can start with our lawmakers.

“There’s not enough conversation at the table with all the right people to come up with practical solutions. You don’t have those designers that only focus on sustainability when it comes to their fabrications. What are ways that we can minimize that risk?

In New York, there’s a push to pass the Fashion Act, which aims to force sellers to be more accountable for environmental and social standards.


Sometimes with fast fashion, the goal is quantity over quality. While piece may look nice, it doesn’t always mean that they are built to last over time. Hammonds says it all depends on what the item is. 

“If I’m a lawyer.. you’re not going to go to fast fashion to get a black pantsuit.”

Hammonds believes you should never be afraid of mixing high-end fashion with low-end fashion. He says an easy solution to this is to a problem like this is to purchase a more durable suit. Then, find several fast fashion pieces to accessorize with it.

“It’s all about how you wear it.”