The real impact of fast fashion

Reilly Mullen, Social Media Manager

Taylor Schoenrock

Fast Fashion will be the death of our planet if we don’t soon solve the problem we created.  When Shien, Zaful, Romwe, H&M, BooHoo, Forever 21, and Fashion Nova  entered into the limelight, the fast fashion industry was born, and took consumers by storm. The brands blew up because of the cheap price of the clothes, and who could blame the consumers? $15.99 for a pair of jeans is a deal that very few would pass up. No one wants to see the other side, the side where the workers are paid less in a day than the jeans cost. The point of fast fashion is to rapidly produce items that match the ever changing trends. The costs often seem as a plus side yet in reality the material of the clothing makes this aspect unworthy of a justification. Due to the differences of household incomes, many people are not always able to afford options other than fast fashion, but if capable every environmentalist would advise these more sustainable brands.   Another big aspect is the consumer culture in our country,mass amounts of  people buying unneeded items, this has become a huge part of our society. A big problem related to fast fashion is the continual buying and throwing away, clothes should be bought in moderation, not in excess.   Lately trends have been moving at a rate that is too hard to keep up with, which results in a pace leading to a rapid production of clothes, resulting in mass amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. 

With many brands doing their best to do better, there is no excuse for us as consumers to try as well. There are many alternatives to these fast fashion brands. There are many brands striving to have a better carbon footprint, and these are the companies we need to spend our money on. One such example is Patagonia. Recently the founder decided to retire and instead of selling for the 3 billion they are worth the founder, Yvon Chouinard, dotated the company to HoldFast company that will put the 100 million dollars worth of profit into protecting biodiversity and nature. This company strives for sustainability and this is just another example of it. Our community as a whole should invest our money in companies like this. 

Alternatives to fast fashion include  thrifting as a cheap option or researching where your money is going. Many of these more sustainable pieces can be more expensive, but in the long run you will need to buy these pieces less and they will stay in their prime longer. Some of these companies that are striving for better are, Levi’s, Madewell, Parade, Patagonia, The Girlfriends Collection, Athleta, Veja and Stella McCartney.