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Fast fashion is the new norm in Australia

Five years after international chain Zara opened its first Australian store in Sydney, fast fashion is now the norm in Australia. Australians spend an average of $2,288 on clothing and footwear each year. There the fastest growing household waste is clothing with around $500 million worth of fashion clothing dumped in 2013, records state.

Australians are buying more pieces of clothing than they have every in history. In fact, it's almost doubled in the last 20 years. It is also said that there's a lot of information that suggests that fast fashion pieces of clothing are produced with disposability in mind. And they're typically designed for 10 wear or less. But even as international chains like H&M, Zara, and Topshop gain market share, these companies have also become wary of consumer demand turning to more environmental and ethical clothing. Following other retail chains including H&M and Topshop, Zara launched its first sustainable collection last month with green initiatives such as recycling old garments.

Euromonitor International says, consumers are looking more and more to sustainability in goods and a circular economy. These are defined as an industrial economy that produces no waste or pollution. Fast fashion usually takes trends displayed at fashion week and creates pieces that are available for mass consumption. It is a short production cycle of around four weeks. The lower cost clothing is made to last only around one season and the high turnover means customers are enticed to come back to those stores to buy new clothes, with fresh lines usually delivered weekly.