Commentary: What’s wrong with fast fashion?

Aeowynn Ayres, Assistant Entertainment Editor

Fast fashion brands are exploitative. Although fast fashion brands are cheaper than department store brands like Macy’s, there are several drawbacks in making these purchases.

Fast fashion brands like Shein and Forever 21 outsource their production to supplier firms in developing countries. These suppliers are known as Tier 1 companies.
These Tier 1 companies subcontract production to big suppliers who are not affiliated with the fast fashion brand that initially requested the outsource.
Due to the fact that these suppliers are not technically affiliated with the fast fashion brands, these brands are not contractually obligated to ensure safe and manageable working conditions.
Suppliers get away with paying workers wages that are barely liveable.
In 2013, the Rana Plaza clothing manufacturing compound in Bangladesh collapsed. According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, this freak accident killed 1,134 workers, and injured over 2,500.
The 29 brands who had outsourced production in Rana Plaza refused to pay the nine million dollars worth of compensation that would be used to fix the building and help contribute to hospital bills.
Along with terrible working conditions, fast fashion is extremely bad for the environment.
According to Borgen Magazine, 10% of all carbon emissions are from fast fashion production. In total, fast fashion companies produce 150 billion articles of clothing every year.
These clothes are often thrown away fairly quickly because the material is cheap and rips easily.
It takes 80 years for these clothes to break down, and often times these materials find their way into our oceans.
If you’re like me and don’t want to give these big brands money, I recommend thrifting or buying sustainable clothing. You can also donate your old clothes to stores like Goodwill or Plato’s Closet.
Fashion apps I recommend are Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari. These apps are essentially online thrifting.
Sellers can list clothes at prices they chose, while also shopping for clothes they might want.