Fast fashion is a deeply engraved prospect of society; And over time, many major companies have become involved in the immoral business practices that endorse fast fashion. These unethical practices include massly producing “trendy,” poor quality clothing, and selling them for unbelievably cheap prices. While the low prices of such merchandise may be alluring at first glance, it is merely a tactic to get people to buy clothing in bulk to earn a higher profit.
Many people fall for this manipulation only to throw out the tons of clothes that they’ve purchased when they’re out of style, or when they get torn and fall apart.
These clothes, inevitably, end up in landfills and make up the heaps of textile waste built up in the environment. Name brands like H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and GAP are massively popular– And most importantly, not pricey. For a large portion of society, trendy and cheap clothing is an offer too good to pass up. In this society, where wealth and fashion seem to be the most important matters, buying from fast fashion brands is practically unavoidable. On social media platforms, massive clothing hauls from online shops such as Shein have absolutely skyrocketed in popularity, and encouraged the delving into fast fashion.
The amount of waste Shein alone has subjected to the environment equates to about 6.3 million tons of Carbon Dioxide emissions. Furthermore, according to online news website Insider, Shein workers in China have been discovered to be paid as little as 4 cents for each garment they make. An excerpt from Insider states, “They often work 18-hour days with one day off per month.” Another line observes, “Some workers even wash their hair on their lunch breaks, because they have so little time left after work.” Clearly, conditions at Shein are unnecaptably horrible. Fast fashion is a prime example of privilege, however, it is becoming less and less easy to avoid. A majority of people who purchase from fast fashion do not have any other choice. It’s not that a majority of fast fashion endorses enjoy supporting sweatshops and manual labor, but that it’s just more convenient.
Although clothing that is made by fast fashion stores may not be durable, or last a long time; It is a privilege for many people to be able to purchase clothes that aren’t second hand.
Conclusively, it is not the consumers to blame for the spread of fast fashion, but the distributors of fast fashion themselves. Everyone has their own reasons for shopping fast fashion, and although it is a choice to shop, it’s not realistic to expect a mass amount of fast fashion shoppers to be financially capable of cutting out fast fashion as a whole. Some companies to consider, though, are brands such as: Girlfriend Collective, a primarily activewear clothing store, Outerknown, a clothing shop based on standard fashion items such as t-shirts and sweaters, or Rothy’s; a sustainable shoe and handbag store that turns recycled water bottles into shoes, handbags, and more. There are several sustainable clothing stores to shop at, and while they may not be as cheap as Shein or other websites, they will last a lot longer and are tons better for the environment. Thrift shopping, garage sales, or even clothing swaps are also a good alternative to fast fashion. Everyone, no matter how much, has supported fast fashion at one point in their lives. However, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to shorten the indulgence in fast fashion. While there may not ever be a world without fast fashion society can limit the usage to a manageable point.