Fast fashion is ruining our planet

Fast fashion is ruining our planet

Atlas Clark, Opinions Editor

Over the past few years, fast fashion has taken over the clothing industry. With its shockingly low prices, trendy designs, and convenience of being online, there’s no surprise that it became so popular. However, with all the pros of fast fashion, there have to be a few cons. To nobody’s surprise, there are more than just a few.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of fast fashion, it’s essentially clothing that is mass-produced at such a rapid pace that quality control is often skipped over. Fast fashion brands are notorious for how they treat their workers, who are often children getting paid almost nothing. Combining those factors with the poor quality of their products, the list of downsides to fast fashion is longer than a CVS receipt.

The main problem with fast fashion production is, well, it’s too fast. With the goal of fast fashion to remain on trend constantly, most of these products are only made to be worn a handful of times until they’re no longer considered trendy. The biggest fast fashion culprit is SHEIN, an online clothing company based in China. SHEIN is notorious for its dollar store prices, which get you poor-quality clothes. According to, “Fast fashion is to blame for 20 percent of all global water waste.”

Not to mention how many of these articles of clothing end up in landfills. Since these textiles go in and out of fashion at such a rapid rate, consumers find themselves donating their SHEIN and H&M products to any thrift stores they can. But, thrift stores across the country are filling up with inventory faster than they can sell, and they end up tossing thousands of products in landfills. Well, clothes are easy to break down, what’s the problem? Circling back to what we said earlier, cheap cost means cheap materials. There is no way that your $4 crop top is going to be made out of natural, high-quality fabric. More likely than not, it’s something like polyester, which is pretty much just plastic that you can wear. This means that, no, your mini skirt will not break down in just a few years.

Now that I’ve run you through why fast fashion is a terrible idea, what can you do about it? The simplest solution would be to stop buying from these brands. And if you already have some of these brands in your closet, make them last. Learn how to mend clothing so a ripped seam or a popped button is no issue for you. Buying second-hand is a fantastic way to reduce clothing waste. Thrift stores are everywhere and there are even places online where you can get clothing secondhand, such as Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari. Combine all these efforts and incorporate them into your daily life and you can drastically increase the lifespan of your favorite top or those really cute jeans you wear all the time.

All in all, put some thought into where the pieces in your closet are coming from. Reducing clothing waste will forever be an important part of the fashion world, so step in and contribute where you can.