Fast Fashion: Fabrication or Fatuous?

Fast Fashion: Fabrication or Fatuous?

Most of us are often looking for ways to save a few dollars right? People especially try to save money when it comes to the latest trends with clothing items or accessories. It can be such a hassle and absolutely draining to a bank account just to try to keep up on the trendy styles. So of course there is a simple solution that a few companies have tried to develop. It’s called fast fashion. Fast fashion is a method of mass-producing cheaply made, trendy clothing that is sold at a lower price point. Some of the top fast fashion brands are Zara, Forever 21, Topshop, and H&M. When first taking a glance at these websites, it appears harmless and almost a relief to see the familiar clothing items sold for almost up to 90% less than name brand websites. These apparel websites seem absolutely golden at first glance. But there are many major flaws to these such as quality, labor, and materials used to produce these items. 

This method of manufacturing and selling clothing is something that has just recently started to attract the attention of the general public. The Battered Women’s Support Services says that these items are made by extremely underpaid workers in work spaces similar to sweatshops. About 80% of these employees are women and children. While only approximately 20% of these people earn a living wage. The employees may work anywhere from 14 to 16 hours a day in hazardous working conditions. They are often exposed to harmful and carcinogenic chemicals.  Fast fashion associations do not give most employees a secure work environment. 

In addition to the clothes being made by underpaid workers, the materials made to produce these textiles are very cheap and of poor quality. After purchasing clothing from these online stores, most customers notice that the clothing is very withered or easily ravaged. According to the Battered Women’s Support Services website, it takes about 80 years for clothing to break down in the landfill. This website also states that the fashion industry produces 10% of the world emission, and it takes about 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt. WIth these cheap textile dyes, clothing has become the second largest polluter of clean water. 

To stay in business and to keep profit rising, instead of refilling their stock with items already being sold, these brands will instead just replace old items that sell out with new garments with a different design or style. This makes consumers feel that their current pieces are outdated, making them want to spend more money on new items. I spoke with my friend, Olivia Packard, who says that she doesn’t mind these clothing brands. “I think they are super beneficial when it comes to saving money.” Of course, I do agree that these websites will help save a ton of money. But while these websites do seem very convenient for the average consumer, fast fashion focuses more on putting out new designs faster rather than focusing on the quality of each piece. This method of always advertising new and trendy styles is how these companies manage to stay in business; always managing to attract the eye of the younger audience. It’s definitely more of a “quantity over quality” field of work. 

All things considered, fast fashion is not the most eco friendly nor does it have respectful labor management. The industry continues to grow every day as more and more people are discovering these brands. There are a ton of alternatives when purchasing the latest trends like thrifting, buying less unnecessary clothing, or even researching more about eco-fashion companies! These companies produce clothing with more environmentally friendly processes. In conclusion, fast fashion is a topic that I feel more people should be educated on.