H&M is considered to be one of the leading ‘fastfashion’ companies. Fast fashion aims to make contemporary high-end fashion affordable and available to the mainstream consumer. Fast fashion retailers do this by producing low-cost garments that ape the latest catwalk designs and incorporate other contemporary trends and influences. Fast-fashion retailers then make these garments available to consumers very quickly. Whereas previously the turnaround time from catwalk to consumer was typically six months, in fast fashion this is compressed down to a matter of weeks. Furthermore, many fastfashion companies aim to deliver new collections six times a year rather than the usual two. Critics argue that fast-fashion garments are produced to a quality that matches the short lifespan of the latest fashion trend. To achieve profitability, fast-fashion retailers must make their products available to large numbers of fashion-conscious consumers quickly and inexpensively. They thus rely on low-cost, highly efficient, quick-response manufacturing and delivery systems.
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