The fashion industry has been transiting quite fast. There’s a new style and trend almost every season. And sometimes, we feel like we must have it. But is it really necessary? While we want to look stylish on a budget, we must be careful not to promote fast fashion. Clothing stores like Loft are a favorite for most women because they offer affordable yet stylish wear. However, the main concern is, is Loft fast fashion?
No, Loft is not considered a fast fashion brand. It is known for its more classic and timeless styles compared to the rapid production and trend-focused approach of fast fashion brands. To truly understand Loft’s position in the fashion landscape, we’ll look into what makes a brand “fast fashion” and what sets Loft apart.
What is Loft?
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Loft is a popular clothing brand that was established in 1998. It was formerly known as Ann Taylor Loft. The Ann Taylor brand specializes in work clothes for career women. Loft clothing, on the other hand, offers relaxed and casual outfits for women. Its main goal is to empower women to feel good about themselves through fashion. Thus, Loft serves a wide range of women and offers garments at a lower price point.
Loft offers a positive shopping experience for women to make them feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful. This is for women of all ages and sizes and with different style preferences. Whether you are a working woman or a stay-at-home mom, you will find something that fits your style at Loft.
What is Fast Fashion?
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Fast fashion is a business model that involves replicating trends and styles from catwalks quickly and selling them at a low cost. Aside from this being an unethical way of doing business, fast fashion has a huge environmental impact. Most of the clothes produced end up in landfills since repeating clothes is considered a fashion faux paus. Clients are encouraged to buy and dispose of the clothes. Besides, fast fashion brands do mass production of poor quality clothes.
Additionally, waste from the manufacturing process also ends up in water bodies containing hazardous chemicals. These factories also contribute greatly to greenhouse gas emissions. Animals are unsafe because some clothes and accessories are manufactured using animal-derived products such as animal skin and hair.
Moreover, most fast fashion brands produce clothes in countries that oppress their workers. They do not provide safe working conditions for them. Other factories have long working hours with no breaks or fair wages.
Is Loft Fast Fashion?
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Just like its counterpart, Banana Republic, Loft is not a fast fashion brand. Loft offers affordable clothing whose style is not replicated from celebrity wear or catwalks. The brand has, over the years, produced timeless basic designs. These range from mom jeans to maxi dresses, pants, cardigans, and turtle necks.
The brand, however, has been accused of offering its consumers a large collection of styles in variable sizes. They have retaliated by stating that they do this to ensure that all their clients find an outfit that fits their body shape. What is more, Loft also holds seasonal and monthly sales to ensure that all the clothes in stock are bought and not disposed of.
Even though the company does not fit the fast fashion model, several practices may prompt people to think otherwise. They include:
1. Outsourcing Production
Loft outsources manufacturing services in China and third-world countries. Most of these countries have poor working conditions, offer cheap labor, and are not bothered about their employees’ welfare. What is more, none of its supply chains is certified by labor standards that ensure the safety and health of workers.
The company also has a poor score of 21-30% on the Fashion Transparency Index. It has failed to reveal information about forced labor and gender equality. Most fashion brands may fail to disclose information about their suppliers for various reasons. This does not mean that they have something to hide or are fast fashion.
2. Large Collection of Clothes
Loft offers a large collection of outfits to their consumers. Moreover, the clothes are in a variety of sizes and styles. The clothes range from those meant for the petite group to plus-size clothing. They do this so that every woman who goes shopping finds an outfit that fits her shape and body perfectly. One that makes them comfortable in their own skin.
3. Aggressive Marketing
Like any other brand, Loft markets its products aggressively to make sales. The company uses sales, celebrity endorsements, and promotions to market its products with a sense of urgency. This is meant to encourage consumers to buy more. Even so, the brand cannot be said to be fast fashion due to these marketing tactics.
Is Loft Ethical?
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Yes. In recent years, Loft has taken several steps towards becoming a more ethical fashion brand. Here are some of the ways the company has shown its commitment to being an ethical and sustainable fashion brand:
1. Use of Sustainable Materials
Loft uses sustainable fabric in its production process. The brand uses eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, Tencel, recycled polyester, and linen. Using these materials helps reduce Loft’s environmental impact.
Recycled polyester, for instance, is made from post-consumer plastic waste. Therefore, using it reduces the amount of plastic in landfills and water bodies. Additionally, organic cotton is not grown using toxic pesticides that harm workers and the soil. The company also pledges to use 80% sustainable materials in their products by 2025.
The use of sustainable materials by Loft shows that it is helping to preserve the environment.
2. Supplier Code of Conduct
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The company designs its apparel in New York but contracts factories around the globe for production. The company states that it only contracts factories that adhere to ethical practices and are mindful of their workers. Thus, these factories ensure safe working conditions, reasonable hours, and fair wages for their employees.
Loft also carries out regular audits to ensure that human rights issues and safe practices are observed. Furthermore, the clothing brand seeks to work with women-owned factories through partnerships. An initiative dubbed HERProject at Loft empowers female garment workers through health education.
By educating factory workers and regular audits of factories, Loft shows that it is concerned about the welfare of its workers. Besides, the brand is committed to making their life better.
3. Reducing and Recycling Waste
Loft has taken measures to reduce and recycle factory waste. For instance, the company has reduced water usage by over 7.5 billion liters in textile mills. This has been achieved through its Clean Water Program Initiative. Conserving water helps to save energy.
The brand also reduces textile waste by optimizing pattern placement when cutting pieces and recycling scraps. Besides, the end products are timeless and classic pieces that are durable. This also ensures there is no overproduction of clothes.
Reducing waste and using recycled materials shows that Loft is keen on reducing its carbon footprint.
Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Is Loft cheaper than Ann Taylor?
Yes. The loft is cheaper than Ann Taylor. Both brands are under the same parent company, Ann Inc., and they focus on empowering women. While the stores are similar, Loft offers clothing at a lower price point. Ann Taylor focuses more on producing high-end wear for the career woman.
2. Is Loft part of Old Navy?
No. Loft is not part of Old Navy. Even though the two brands have similar styles of clothing, they are under different parent companies. Loft is under Ann Inc., while Old Navy is under Gap Inc. Gap Inc. comprises of Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Gap under it.
3. What kind of brand is Loft?
Loft is a brand that offers more relaxed and comfortable designs and styles to its consumers. The garments can be for work, home, or casual travel. The main goal is for women to feel comfortable in their skin. Additionally, Loft offers their products at a moderate price point.
4. Is Loft part of the premium brands?
Yes. Loft of part of the premium brand. Premium Apparel bought Ann Taylor, Lou & Grey, Loft, and Lane Bryant brands that were all part of the Ascena Retail Group.
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With the rise of the fast fashion business model in the fashion industry, most people have begun to scrutinize brands that they buy from. While Loft may not be a fast fashion brand, it has some characteristics that cause it to contribute negatively to the environment. Nonetheless, the company is committed to becoming an ethical fashion brand by adopting several ethical and sustainable practices.