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UPinion: Why Fast Fashion Is Out This Year

By Marissa Rotolo

These days, we are told not to consume brands like Shein due to its contribution to fast fashion and carbon footprint. While this is true, the unfortunate reality is that many more established brands fall victim to fast fashion as well. Brands like Nike, Zara, Urban Outfitters, and so many more reputable companies use fast fashion as well.

Fast fashion is a manufacturing method with a goal of producing high amounts of clothing in an expeditious amount of time. This method almost always includes cheap garments, harmful working conditions, and waste to the environment. This is due to brands trying to keep up with microtrends instead of producing staple and timeless pieces. These companies use harmful dyes and chemicals in their products which make the work environment unsafe and waste levels reach unprecedented rates and most working conditions are violations of human rights. Additionally, 11 million tons of clothing are thrown out by the U.S. yearly, many of these pieces include the same toxic chemicals as stated above. Those toxins do not ever break up sitting in landfills polluting air and water supplies.

Recently, brands have started to create “microseasons” which lead to copious amounts of waste. Not only are brands pushing microtrends, but it’s impossible to escape via social media too. At the tip of your finger tips you can discover, fall in love with, and get sick of the newest trends within seconds.

So what is a consumer supposed to do? The most popular shops are the ones using fast fashion, typically those brands are the cheapest, and it is fun to keep up with new trends. The best way to build a wardrobe is to do it with the future in mind. A time capsule wardrobe is investment in sustainable quality pieces. Each piece is quality, classic, and versatile. Timeless pieces are classic and won’t go out of style. The base of a wardrobe can be basics: mid rise jeans, white t-shirts, a few sweaters, a few versatile jackets and shoes. Invest in only a few trendy pieces so that your entire wardrobe is not derived from microtrends. Eventually, you will have collected lasting pieces and only indulged in minimal trends.

Fast fashion has always been a concern, but the concern grows with the popularity of Shein and social media circulating trends. The goal is to start small: incorporate more sustainability and go from there.

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