Just when you thought “fast fashion” couldn’t get any faster, Mango ups and decides it wants to leave its competition in the dust. In a move that was likely a long time coming, the Spanish apparel retailer announced on Monday that it’ll be refreshing its apparel collection, both in-store and online, every two weeks starting February. As a profit-boosting maneuver, nothing about this is new. Mango’s competitors, namely H&M and Zara, have been employing a similar tack for ages, with the latter’s European stores receiving new products as often as twice a week. On our side of the pond, Old Navy is enjoying an unprecedented surge in popularity after doing the same.
#FOMO, it turns out, makes a pretty compelling case for overconsumption. A 2004 piece in the Harvard Business Review noted that a system of limited supply and rapid replenishment creates a sense of “tantalizing exclusivity” that baits people into buying things they don’t need. “A customer thinks, ‘This green shirt fits me, and there is one on the rack. If I don’t buy it now, I’ll lose my chance.'” the authors added.
Mango, which operates 2,700 stores in 109 countries, hails its entree into the “world of the micro-season” as a major revolution for the retailer. A spokesperson told WWD that it already has the infrastructure for the increased production in place, so it’s “more a matter of [coordinating] all of the teams involved in the process, such as the design team, the stores team, and the visual merchandising team.”
As part of the revamp, Mango says it will launch a new advertising campaign every month— one that features the “latest trend and represented by the face that best defines it.”
If Mango’s news and its implications don’t distress you, you haven’t been paying attention. Clothing labels for Mango, along with billing records for Primark, The Children’s Place, Inditex (which owns Zara), and Walmart, were found in the rubble of Rana Plaza shortly after its November 2013 collapse. Surely there’s no stronger indictment of fashion’s breakneck speed than the 1,138 lives that were lost because quota—not safety, nor wellbeing—was king.
Still, amid everything, one silver lining remains. Mango says it will be discontinuing the print version of its catalog in favor of online channels. Considering that the company distributed about 22 million copies each year, it’s a small win—for trees, anyway.