Why Fast Fashion is: A Local Artist Perspective

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Have you ever gone to a local show in your city and wondered where the lead singer got those vintage boots? Or where they found those funky pants? Welcome to the DIY music scene. This is your local artists’ perspective on fast fashion. What do you know about thrifting and vintage shopping that can help the environment more?

I’m probably not the only one, but I always pay attention to what people are wearing at different social gatherings (when social gatherings were a thing). Especially in the Providence music scene, no one is ever wearing the same piece of clothing at a show. People thrift so much here that you’ll hardly ever find yourself in a situation where another person has the same top as you. Even if it's the same style. It’s moments and times like these that you’ll never think of shopping at the mall again. Maybe not ever again, but a lot less than you used to.

I am sure you’ve heard of the term “fast fashion” before. Fast fashion is a term used for designs that are similar to the current fashion trend. They are usually made quicker and of cheaper quality. It is important to realize that fast fashion is not something we can eliminate completely, but something we simply must bring more awareness to. If you don’t know how the average t-shirt is made, click the link. All those stores like H&M, Zara, Forever 21, TopShop, Zaful, and yes- Fashion Nova, are fast fashion.

At the same time, fast fashion’s biggest consumers are those of lower income. In times of back to school season, it is most affordable for families if buying in big quantities. And btw, it is no shame to want a more affordable version of something and still be fashionable. I understand, but we gotta know what’s good with its environmental impact. My point being that your local DIY music scene can do a great job in pulling you away from fast fashion and educate you on how to sustainably be trendy.

As a performer in the music scene, one thing I have noticed in my local scene is how unique everyone’s style is or how your local DIY scene can pull you away from fast fashion. Local musicians such as Gwen Babalato, Karla Gonzalez, and Olivia DeToma have a unique sense of style and all do it mostly buying second hand. Gwen and Karla are from local Providence-based band Late Night Trip, and Olivia is the former lead vocalist of Providence band Delko. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and continues to write and collaborate with other creative individuals there.

DeToma’s interest in clothing came from fashion magazines and movies at a young age. Like others, thrifting didn’t become a thing until around the end of high school or beginning of college. She said college friends took her on her first thrift store trip, and it quickly became a part of her lifestyle. DeToma said her school clothes were usually bought from places like Old Navy and Kohl’s as a kid because it was so inexpensive. As she got older, she became more conscious about what she was wearing.

Olivia DeToma

“I realized I had more power and control when I was doing secondhand, vintage and thrift rather than fast fashion.”

Being a part of the music scene introduces you to a lot of different people with diverse personalities and characters. At the end of the day, we are all performers. We are all looking to connect with our inner selves and express ourselves the best we can. DeToma said it is different than seeing everyone wear the same fast fashion stuff because the people you idolize in the scene do it with so much authenticity.