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Some clothing companies are criticized for being 'ultra fast' — here's why many of them are guilty

The textile industry is the second-most polluting on the planet, responsible for nearly 8% of all carbon pollution.

Ultra fast fashion speedier than fast fashion

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The fast-fashion industry is no stranger to criticism for its wasteful practices. 

Because of the rapid production (and trashing) of its clothes, alongside the abysmal treatment of those who work in the textile industry, fast fashion has developed a reputation for being unsustainable and unethical.

But "ultra-fast fashion" has only recently emerged as a concept. In March 2021, Rachel Monroe wrote an article for The Atlantic titled "Ultra-fast fashion is eating the world." 

The article was meant to raise awareness about ultra-fast fashion's environmental and moral impacts. And while much more attention has been brought to fast fashion, ultra-fast fashion remains a less-known concept.

What is ultra-fast fashion?

Ultra-fast fashion is a trend in the fashion industry that involves an incredibly quick turnaround on new designs, as well as frequent buying and discarding of clothing. 

Because of this rapid turnaround — designs can be produced as fast as daily — the industry requires a huge amount of resources and energy and creates a massive amount of waste.

When compared with the fast-fashion industry, ultra-fast fashion has a greater emphasis on online sales and marketing, as opposed to physical stores. This means that ultra-fast-fashion companies can focus more on improving their logistics for pumping out clothing as quickly as possible.

Plus, because ultra-fast-fashion companies often produce "low-quality" items, they have to create more clothes to make a profit. The combination of these factors results in a large amount of waste produced. 

Due to the massive amount of resources and energy required, the industry has an enormous environmental impact. One study found that the textile industry is the second-most polluting on the planet, responsible for nearly 8% of all carbon pollution.

Who makes up the ultra-fast-fashion industry?

Some of the biggest names in fast fashion are also guilty of ultra-fast fashion. Zara, H&M, and Forever 21 are just a few of the companies that have been criticized for their unsustainable practices. 

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