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Sustainability Might Be Hot Right Now, But Fast Fashion Is Only Getting Faster

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 1 year ago | News

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Sustainable fashion might seem like it’s on the rise right now but, by all accounts, fast fashion is only getting even faster. According to Business of Fashion, this is being led by ultra-fast e-commerce giant Boohoo. Last week, the Boohoo Group was busy building its empire, making an £18.2 million move to purchase the online businesses of Karen Millen and Coast. 

“The opportunistic move to purchase two struggling British high street players out of administration signals broader ambitions for Boohoo,” writes Sarah Kent for BoF. “The company has established a leading position among a new breed of online players that have effectively used social media to target a young, fashion-conscious consumer base eager for an ever-changing selection of ultra-cheap clothing. Karen Millen and Coast target an older, higher-spending demographic with the potential to diversify Boohoo’s reach and consolidate its position within the market.”

This move to target a more aspirational and professional audience signals Boohoo’s mission to broaden its appeal – proving that it is here to stay. This is concerning, considering Boohoo’s business model is arguably even faster than that of its more traditional rivals like Zara and H&M. “Where [Zara's parent company] Inditex was the disruptor historically, Boohoo is claiming that mantle,” says Panmure Gordon analyst Andrew Blain.

Although Boohoo is currently just a fraction of Inditex’s size, the retailer clearly plans to expand – and it takes with it an aggressively fast approach to fast fashion. “Founded in Manchester in 2006, Boohoo has expanded swiftly to become one of the most successful among a new cohort of disruptive online-only players taking fast fashion to a new cadence and ultra-low price point,” Kent stresses. “It has proved to be a wildly successful business model.”

Since going public in 2014, Boohoo’s sales have grown nearly eight-fold, hitting £856.9 million in the fiscal year ending in February. And, where its rivals have suffered losses in a tough retail period, Boohoo’s agile digital strategy has helped it to weather the storm. So amidst ever growing profits, this brand is unfortunately helping make fast fashion even faster.

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