Fast Fashion


Basia Griffin

For the majority of human history, it was only the super wealthy who could enjoy multiple outfits. Back then, clothing was not as easily produced; the average person had maybe only one or two outfits. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that clothing and fashion became more widely available to the general public and as technology evolved, so did the rate at which companies could produce textiles and clothing which has now led to what we know today as Fast Fashion.


Fast fashion is a term that is generally used to describe clothing designs that go straight from the catwalk into stores. Fast fashion styles are always relevant, always on trend, and always have something new. It is also usually very cheap.


Now at first glance someone might see this and think that fast fashion is good. It’s affordable and trendy. However, that is the furthest from the truth; fast fashion is one of the biggest polluters on the planet and implements  morally wrong practices.


Fast fashion has also been referred to as disposable fashion because of how fast it gets discarded by the customer and  stores. Clothes produced in the context of fast fashion don’t last long; most of the time they are only good for a few wears. Then when they have been all worn out, they are thrown out and sit in the landfill for years. Because of the cheap materials used to make them as well as the synthetics in them, they can’t be properly recycled; and they end up leading to so much pollution. Roughly 80% of clothing items and textiles end up in our landfills.


Another reason as to why fast fashion is  terrible, the conditions in which these clothes are made are completely immoral. A majority of fast fashion brands have their products made in countries where there are less labor laws and labor is much cheaper. The workers in these factories are completely exploited; they work for little pay in terrible and unsafe conditions and in many cases are abused. And all so these fashion brands can make a bit more money.


TL Senior, Nalini Kumar, had this to say about fast fashion, “I think fast fashion is a product of a society that values production and economic growth over empathy and sustainability.” Kumar then goes on to explain how it is very difficult to avoid these companies or change their mind because they will continue to act on their own interests. So as the consumers our job is to minimize the harm and seek out sustainable and ethical solutions.


Despite fast fashion being very prevalent in our society there are many ways in which to combat it. Number one is by buying from eco-friendly brands, like tentree that also plants ten trees for every one item purchased (a list of more eco-friendly brands as well as brands to avoid will be provided at the end of the article).You can also buy from local, small corporations, stores and thrifts stores. You can even learn to make your own clothes and upcycle old clothes. And if you don’t think you have those kinds of skills there are plenty of designers, seamstresses, and tailors that you can reach out to.


Fast fashion is harmful to the planet as well as the people on the planet and it’s important that environmental sustainability and human rights be put first over trends and profit. Of course it’s easier said than done, but even a little bit helps.


Eco-Friendly Brands


Fast Fashion Brands to Avoid