The Problem With Fast Fashion

Finley Bell, Staff Reporter

Fashion has seen a sudden boom in popularity. Fashion and fashion trends can be seen throughout history since the beginning of time but now more than ever are we seeing such a diverse amount of styles along with fast fading trends. When trends are always changing and wearing the same outfit is taboo, how do you keep up? Fast fashion seems to be the answer for many teens and young adults. However, fast fashion has been the cause of many major problems from increasing pollution to funding inhumane working conditions.


Why is fast fashion so bad for the environment? There are many answers to this question, most relating to the quality and purpose of fast fashion clothing. Fast fashion manufactures work to produce a large amount of different types of clothing all at a fast pace while keeping up with quickly changing trends. These companies want to keep the price of manufacturing their clothing as low as they possibly can, this leads to the bad quality of their clothing. Companies choose to lower the quality to keep prices low. Due to the low quality of this clothing, the lifespan of this clothing is much shorter compared to clothing made with a greater quality. Customers of fast fashion clothing will often see damages in their clothing sometimes as soon as on their first try on. The shorter the lifespan of the clothing, the sooner it will end up in a landfill. Torn and ripped clothing can not be thrifted like clothing of higher quality which lasts much longer can. With fast fashion rising we are seeing a large increase in the amount of clothing ending up in landfills.


Another contributor to the rising amount of clothing in landfills is the fast pace trends which fast fashion supports. As one clothing trend passes and a new one comes, what do people do with their no longer trendy clothing? It typically ends up in landfills. Trends are moving by faster and faster in the modern day, and with that people are going through their clothing faster and faster. There is an estimated 92 million tons of clothing found in today’s landfills around the world. The more fashion trends there are, the more business fast fashion companies are getting and, in turn, more clothing ending up in landfills.


The more pressing problem with fast fashion is the conditions in the factories. Workers for these companies work in inhumane conditions which at times can lead to death. These companies try to make clothing for as cheap as possible which often comes at the detriment of the workers. Workers in the fast fashion industry are forced into working 14 to 16 hours a day for 7 days a week. Even with all these hours of hard and breakless work, they are receiving little to no pay. During the hours of their work, they are in unhealthy living conditions due to chemicals and poor ventilation. Injuries are common for these workers from unsafe conditions and even abuse from management. These employees are being overworked to achieve unreachable goals for manufacturing clothing. These conditions are terrible and should not be overlooked for something as unimportant as cheap, trendy clothing. 


The cost of fast fashion may be cheap in price but it is far from cheap when it comes to the effect it has on the world. Instead of buying your clothing off fast fashion sites, try thrifting for the same cheap prices. Not only is thrifting as cheap as fast fashion but is also more ethical as it promotes recycling clothing rather than tossing it out. There are always better options than what fast fashion offers.