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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Dorado

Why You Shouldn’t Contribute to Fast Fashion

Shein and H&M are only a couple of the many brands that mass produce products that soon end up creating waste management problems and pollution. I understand that it is insanely cheap to make bulks of clothing — good quality clothing is expensive — but have you heard the saying, “you get what you pay for?” A materialistic lifestyle is not what I am telling you to live, but a sustainable one that fits our budget as college students. With mass production of fashion brands, there is more waste. Fast fashion negatively impacts our environment due to its drastic increase throughout the years. Almost every store around us is considered fast fashion. Most of our packages come in packages that can’t be recycled, which increases waste. “Did you know that one garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second?” According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, clothing production has approximately doubled in the last 15 years.

Following the environmental issues fast fashion continues to create, ties in to the negative social effects it has led to. With such fast consumptions, the demand from consumers increases. This only calls for more labor hours and more workers. These fast fashion brands, in this case Shein, are known to over work and underpay their employees.

According to Glamour magazine, “The factory has a very inhumane system.” Do you really want workers being put under these conditions just for your shirt? Probably not. “The very large majority of fast fashion production takes place in overseas countries with poor labor laws and human rights protections. Many farmers and garment factory workers live in low-income countries, where labor is shockingly cheap.

This leads to how fast fashions affects our economy. “Fast fashion has a huge economic impact. It’s responsible for the recent growth (on average 4.78%) and future growth (5.91% in the next three years) of the apparel industry.” “Consumers are willing to spend more money a year to buy more clothing. McKinsey And Company (2017).” This continuous pattern of purchasing an abundant amount of clothing just to be thrown out is not an investment, it’s a waste of money.

But don’t worry, here is how you can avoid increasing your accessibility to fast fashion. Every day, we see more secondhand shopping and understanding why it is important to be sustainable, why mass production is wrong and how trends are bad. It’s good to stay away from trends that don’t have a good impact, but with a recent trend of thrifting it is okay to follow. I have been thrifting for over 3 years now and all I can say is every time I get a compliment, my clothes are usually from the thrift. At the thrift you are sustainably shopping, finding use of old garments that can be reworn and remade. The pieces are one of a kind and will stand out from everyone else. Remember, quality over quantity is always important. Lastly, buying less and selling more is beneficial to you and me. You get money and I get a new item without shopping at a fast fashion store!

Depop is a platform that allows users worldwide to sell one-of-a-kind pieces, secondhand or new. With platforms like Depop and Poshmark, the effort to a sustainable lifestyle is already being shown and promoted to be a good thing. We can now see some of our favorite celebrities wearing vintage items that are most likely secondhand, which influences their viewers to start doing the same. Understanding that as college students we are on a budget, buying secondhand is more convenient and economical for our budgets. Go thrifting with your friends, start shopping secondhand. It is never too late to make a change and help decrease fast fashion rates.



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