Fast Fashion: What’s the big deal?

Fast Fashion: What’s the big deal?

Everyone has heard of Temu, Shein, H&M, and Zara, but what’s the big deal with shopping these businesses? 

Not only are these businesses an environmental disaster, they are a humanitarian catastrophe.

Nowadays there are so many micro trends- trends that last an extremely short period of time- that require constant production of products. This includes makeup, hair products, clothing, shoes, and jewelry! To keep up with the ever changing demand and keep costs down, these businesses rely on cheaply made materials that are not meant to last. Many studies have shown these clothing brands are using excessive amounts of lead in their materials as well as other harmful chemicals. These metals and chemicals leech their way into our bodies as we wear them and even worse, into the bodies of those handling these materials to make your goods. Once the micro trend is over and has become “out of style” these items are thrown into landfills to be exchanged for the next item that will meet the same fate. 

Even those returns or unsold items are sent to landfill and not the landfills you may be thinking. These companies send their waste to lower income countries, mostly in Africa. They pollute waterways, poison water supplies, and cause unbelievable environmental damage. 

Yes, these companies may be cheap but they come at a cost. A humanitarian cost. In order to create such mass amounts of clothing and other fashion items at a low cost, many companies use child and slave labor, and if they pay their workers, it is no where near enough to live on. So not only are these fast fashion companies utilizing horrific labor practices, their products directly harm the people of the villages they dump in.

At what point does the cost of a product outweigh the cost of how it was made? Even higher priced products from "higher end” companies are utilizing these practices.

This then begs the question: how do you shop ethically? Start by buying less. Use what you have but if you must buy, try to buy used. If you cannot buy used, do your research! Look into the company you plan to support with your money and see why they stand for and how they manufacture their items. A simple google search is all it takes to help prevent the continued abuse of people and our environment!




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