Fast fashion is cheap, low-quality clothing produced which follows trends and is not intended to last. The problem is that fast fashion is not sustainable or ethical. In order to produce the vast quantities of clothing needed, enormous amounts of water and material are wasted. Later, because of the cheap quality of the clothing and the rapid speed of trends, most people throw it away. This clothing then ends up in landfills. Thus, fast fashion is not sustainable. Additionally, those who produce this clothing are paid poorly, often below minimum wage. Their working conditions are unsafe and deplorable.

Because this problem is so complex, there is no single solution. One solution that is simple, cost-effective, and easy for most people to do is exclusively buying secondhand clothing. However, this does not completely solve the problem, as it is not hygienic to buy used underwear.

Additionally, one can avoid some of the worst offenders of fast fashion. The worst offender is Forever 21, followed by other brands such as H&M, Zara, Victoria’s Secret, Primark, and Topshop. Some companies are good in one area but bad in other. For example, Victoria’s Secret uses mostly sustainable organic cotton, but pays its workers who produce their clothing below minimum wage in the countries they work.

Works Cited


attitudeorganic, By: “Fast Fashion Brands to Avoid.” Attitude Organic, 30 Jan. 2020, https://attitudeorganic.com/fast-fashion-brands-to-avoid/
Bick, Rachel, et al. “The Global Environmental Injustice of Fast Fashion.” Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, vol. 17, no. 1, Dec. 2018, p. N.PAG. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1186/s12940-018-0433-7.
Hamilton, Anita. “Fast Fashion, the Remix.” TIME Magazine, vol. 169, no. 24, June 2007, pp. 85–87. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=25272424&site=ehost-live.
“In Their Hands.” Publishers Weekly, vol. 266, no. 21, May 2019, p. 83. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=136658624&site=ehost-live.
Joy, Annamma, et al. “Fast Fashion, Sustainability, and the Ethical Appeal of Luxury Brands.” Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, vol. 16, no. 3, Sept. 2012, pp. 273–295. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2752/175174112X13340749707123.
Pasquarelli, Adrianne. “SHADES OF GREEN: How Sustainability in Fashion Went from the Margins to the Mainstream—and Why It’s Here to Stay.” Advertising Age, vol. 90, no. 5, Mar. 2019, p. 18. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=135142572&site=ehost-live.
Thomas, Dana. “The Real Cost of Your Blue Jeans.” Newsweek Global, vol. 173, no. 8, Sept. 2019, pp. 40–44. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=138428910&site=ehost-live.

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2 Comments
  1. Olivia 6 months ago

    Hi Emily,
    I really liked your article because I never knew fast fashion was this big of a problem in our world today. I liked how you said there isn’t a perfect solution, but there are a bunch of little things that we can do to make sure that we are supporting ethical and sustainable brands. Here is a link to a website that provides brands that are both ethical and sustainable but still affordable: https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing .

  2. Megan 6 months ago

    Emily-

    This article was amazing! Its clear that you put energy and effort into your research! I think that it was important to bring up the mentioned alternatives, but do you think people will get on board with only buying used clothing? It seems like it would be difficult to get a consensus to do this! Heres a link that may help with further research! (https://www.farmdrop.com/blog/how-to-fight-fast-fashion/)

    I can’t wait to see what you write next!

    Megan

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