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Fast Fashion


In the last thirty years or so, fast fashion has become a global phenomenon. And a lot of these fast fashion companies to prioritize the conditions of their workers.

Not to mention, they are also ruining our environment. And some fast fashion brands are viewed as luxury brands, which makes more people want to buy their clothes.

In this article, I’ll be discussing the effects fast fashion has on the environment, what it actually is and healthier alternatives to buying clothes around the same price points. 


What is Fast Fashion:


Fast fashion thrives on the people’s want to get trendy clothing, without wrecking down their finances. When more people engage in fast fashion, fast fashion companies start producing double or even triple the amount of orders that they receive, just in case they receive more orders than expected. 

And the popularity of trends usually lasts for about a month or even shorter, especially when social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram influence what trends last and what trends don’t. 

But you may be wondering how some fast fashion companies keep their prices low, and you also might be wondering about the quality of the clothes fast fashion brands have to offer. 

Fast fashion brands, like Shein, typically keep their prices low by paying their employees a low salary. Some of the time, they use child labor. Around 60% of fast fashion workers are below the age of eighteen, according to And because Shein is an online shopping brand, it’s easier for people to make purchase decisions online without leaving the comfort of their home. 

But it’s not just online shopping brands. Even bigger more well known companies have the workers do work in poor conditions.  They just do a better job of hiding their footprints, unlike online fast fashion websites. 


Fast fashion’s effect on the environment:


Nine percent of global carbon emissions are caused by fast fashion, and twenty percent of industrial water pollution is caused by the issue. Protecting workers’ rights, did you know that 20,000 people each year die due to the chemicals sprayed in cotton. These chemicals can go so far to even cause cancer. These are just a few of the facts listed on a website by TheWellnessFeed. 

Some of these issues can’t really be solved. But some of them definitely can. A ton of fast fashion brands waste millions of billions of dollars each year on unsold and unnecessary clothing! This is why companies should carefully analyze shopping trends, in both other companies and their own. This way they can make more of a profit and be kinder to the planet. 

But what do companies do with the extra inventory they have? They burn them! Obviously. As if they hadn’t given the environment enough of the hardship they struggle with when they ‘accidentally’ over manufacture their clothes. 


How do we solve this problem? 


I feel like any brand that you’re going to shop at, is going to have a negative effect on the environment, no matter what it be. It’s like no matter how hard you try to not have one, you’re always going to have a carbon footprint. 

And a lot of eco-friendly brands are expensive, meaning that a lot of people can’t buy their products. And of course a few people boycotting certain brands won’t help much, because a ton of clothes will still be wasted. Only overtime would a company start to notice a difference in sales, and act accordingly by keeping up with the trends and encouraging a sustainable lifestyle. And to do that would take a very long time, and by then the Earth would be suffering the immense effects of climate change, so why try to fix it? 

To at least help improve the issue as it is now, we can: 


  1. Shop at thrift stores, and either sell or donate clothes that we don’t use anymore. 
  2. Instead of buying new clothes after one of your shirts has holes in it, why not try to fix it?
  3. If you have the money for it, try supporting local businesses/brands. 
  4. Come up with your own style, rather than keeping up with each and every fashion trend. 
  5. Buy less jeans, there’s a lot of water wasted for just washing a pair of jeans. 
  6. For those who cannot afford to support local businesses, try limiting your options when you buy clothes, if you want to buy them from more well known brands. You can also try thrifting. 


Even dollar stores aren’t the most environment friendly, so please consider making a conscious effort to help the environment when you can. 

Works Cited

Assoune, Alex. “13 Fashion Brands That Still Use Sweatshops In 2023.” Panaprium, Accessed 23 August 2023.

Chaudry, Hemna, et al. “11 Dirty Fast Fashion Statistics You’ll Want To Know.” The Wellness Feed, Accessed 23 August 2023.

“What Is Fast Fashion and Why Is It So Bad?” Good On You, 7 August 2023, Accessed 23 August 2023.

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