The "What, Why, And How" Of Fast Fashion
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The "What, Why, And How" Of Fast Fashion

It's fun. It's easy. It's affordable. What is it? Fast fashion. Beware.

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The "What, Why, And How" Of Fast Fashion

From the runway to the clothing rack, fast fashion has taken over the lives of many a budgeting fashionista. What some folks don't realize is just how harmful this trend really is. So, what can we do about it? Let me tell you, starting with the basics.

What the heck is fast fashion?

So, you're strutting through the mall, chatting with your gal pals, killing time, having a blast. Through the sea of fellow shoppers, you spot Forever 21 -- the glowing florescent lights; the giant, gaping entryway; the rows upon rows of cute clothes, sale signs, and those glossy, headless mannequins that somehow manage to be kind of sexy and you aren't really sure why. Shoot, you can't pass up a good deal! You're drawn into the store like Shaggy is drawn to Scooby Snacks and find yourself walking out with four tanks for $3.99 each, a cute blanket scarf, and some bangin' hoop earings you got on a BOGO sale.

Boom. Fast fashion.

It's pretty simple, actually. Fast fashion is a term used by fashion retailers for inexpensive clothing produced by mass-market retailers in response to the dynamic, ever-changing universe of who's hot and what's hot. Fast fashion enables you to dress like a model without spending a fortune on outrageous designer brands. Seems like harmless fun, right?

Well, don't checkout just yet.

Why is it so bad?

There's a reason these hot styles are so affordable. For one thing, they're made out of cheap, lower quality, synthetic materials that will either fall apart or go out of style shortly you after your purchase, forcing you to go back to the store and buy more and more, time after time.

Secondly, the synthetics are derived from fossil fuels and won't decay. In other words, the clothes that end up in a landfill or in the ocean will stay in that landfill or in that ocean forever. Retailers also encourage their shoppers to buy en masse because the prices are so low, so the demand for the clothing only increases, which in turn increases the amounts of synthetic materials being tossed away into our environment, adding fast fashion to the list of numerous other things that are harming our planet.

How can we avoid it?

Let me be clear. It's not just Forever 21 that's responsible for the rise in fast fashion. Other stores like Gap and ASOS - even online shops like Shein and Zaful - are contributors, as well. Easy ways to avoid it is to simply buy less and less often, buy secondhand/thrifted clothing, and stop throwing out your used clothes into what seems like an abysmal wasteland.

Another alternative to consider is slow fashion, which is a movement advocating for quality, fairness, and a clean environment for consumers and producers alike. Slow fashion brands focus on quality over quantity, so they're ethical, sustainable, and, although this alternative is more expensive, the clothes you buy can last a lifetime.

Let me just say this: I'm not calling anyone out. I'm not intentionally targeting a specific person. This is an informational reminder for myself as much as it is for everyone who reads this.

If you do find yourself falling victim to the cycle of fast fashion, at least pass the clothing on to someone else. Good places to sell or donate your old clothes are Goodwill and Salvation Army, both of which will often have drop boxes set up across your town, making donating incredibly quick and easy (a new take on "fast" fashion, eh?). Some places, like Plato's Closet, will even pay you for your donation!

Now, I know change is tough on some people. If there is absolutely, positively, no feasible way you can avoid fast fashion, maybe try a nude beach. No clothes required.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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