Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion

Blakely Harrison, Fashionista

What is it? Fast fashion is the term used to describe clothing that is made inexpensively that
goes from the runway to stores quickly in order to fulfill the demand of certain trends. As a
result of this, new lines from companies are released throughout the year, rather than just
seasonally. Fast fashion is beneficial to merchants since it keeps people visiting their store often
to see what new clothes are available. Companies like H&M, Zara, and Forever21 are some
prime examples of companies who put out these trendy items at extremely low cost.
Why is it harmful? Fast fashion is not only extremely unsustainable, but it also exploits
overseas workers. Companies use sweatshop labor in order to fulfill the demand for clothes at
such low prices. These workers are getting paid well below minimum wage, and they are
working in extremely unsafe conditions. Fast fashion clothes are also harmful to the
environment because they are not meant to last. The clothing is made of inexpensive fabric and
people typically will wear the piece three or four times and then either donate it to goodwill or
throw it away. The average American throws away about 68 pounds of textiles, and most of the
clothing is made with synthetic, petroleum fibers that will take decades to decompose in
landfills.
Substitutes to Fast Fashion? There are options to avoid shopping at stores that support fast
fashion. Stores such as Patagonia, Reformation, People Tree, and Everlane allow people to be
confident that their money is going to companies who make well designed clothes that will last.
More great place to shop are Goodwill, Thrift Stores, and Salvation Army. With these kind of
stores you are giving clothing new life and putting your money into helping the earth, rather
than hurting it.