Op-Ed: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Fashion?

By Sofia Netto | | Copy Editor

If you are into fashion, I am sure that you have heard of shops like Shein, whose platform provides a cheap yet trendy product. Those stores that usually offer products for a price way cheaper than you would find in a normal store with a quality that is (most of the times) sketchy. At first sight, it seems like a very good solution for all our problems. You don’t have any money but want to stay up to date with the fashion trends? Just buy on Shein!

Although it seems very simple, the problem with that is the amount of clothes that end up in the trash before even a year has passed since the purchase. These pieces are not made to last, which makes sense because of the price customers pay. That’s the exact problem with fast fashion: cheap products do not last, so people need to keep buying them. Another questionable aspect of fast fashion is how these pieces are made. If they are so cheap, it means that the companies did not spend a lot of money in the process of making them. How can we trust that workers are efficient (or if they are getting paid as much as they should be for the labor that fast fashion often entails) or that all environmental laws have been followed?

On the other hand, these companies are very affordable. It is important to recognize that not many people can pay $40 in a single top. Therefore, shops like Shein are sometimes the only option if you cannot afford stores like Forever 21, Hollister, Garage, Aeropostale, Pacsun, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie and Fitch, or H&M but still want to follow trendy styles. It is also one of the only options for plus-size individuals, since many stores do not have a considerate size diversity. They might have large and extra-large sizes in their dimensions; however, the sizing often gets smaller, so the “larger” sizes do not fit the way larger sizes should. Fast fashion offers not only a cheap solution, but also an inclusive option for people that do not fit in the pattern.

While fast fashion is a problem when considering how obsolete clothes that are very cheap and only made because of a certain trend can come into being, we also need to understand that, for many people, fast fashion is the only option. Instead of scrutinizing those who partake in this kind of business, think about your own privileges and why you are able to choose which store to buy your products from. If you have the choice of buying from a small business, always try to sway in that direction. Big corporations are often involved in scandals of not paying their employees enough or damaging the environment, focusing only on their profit.

Sophomore Sofia Netto is a Copy Editor.  Her email is ssilvade@fandm.edu.

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