April 14, 2024

7meel

The art of Fashion

The environmental costs of buying from fast fashion brands

2 min read

Most clothing hauls end up in the trash, but fast fashion offers extended sizing and pricing most retailers don’t.

Most clothing hauls end up in the trash, but fast fashion offers extended sizing and pricing most retailers don’t.

Most trendy clothing hauls end up in the trash, but fast fashion offers extended sizing and pricing most retailers and thrifters don’t. The question is, why do we feel the need to buy so much of it?

To Sum It Up

While more high-end retailers are trying to go green, fast fashion inspires a different goal.

  • However, 85% of textile waste in the United States goes in the trash, with more than half of fabrics made from fossil fuels that won’t decay.

The Background

Why is fast fashion so popular now?

  • According to a survey by the resale website ThredUp, 72% of shoppers prefer to buy fast fashion because it’s a “good value for the money.”

  • With extended sizes (the website Shein goes up to a US 20) and thousands of styles (brands Missguided and Fashion Nova reportedly release 1,000 styles a week), fast fashion provides options for more shoppers.

What’s Happening

All of those textiles add up in resources, and with so much being purchased, there’s fast closet turnover.

  • About 15 million textiles from affordable brands including ASOS, Target and Zara arrive in Ghana for resale. Many items are never used again, creating a mountain of Western trash at West Africa’s Kantamanto Market.

Why It Matters

  • And, besides filling landfills, brands Shein, Zaful and AliExpress were found to subject wearers to high levels of chemicals, too.

Fast Fashion (Blue).png

Sources

Business of Fashion: “Why Shein Might Be Worth $100 Billion, in Four Charts

Bloomberg: “Rise of Shein Tests an Industry’s Go-Green Commitments”

ThredUp 2022 Resale Report

Marketplace: “Experts warn of high levels of chemicals in clothes by some fast-fashion retailers”

New York Times: “How Fast Fashion Is Destroying the Planet”

Financial Times: “The Chinese company storming the world of fast fashion”

Read more about this in The Sum

The Sum breaks down complex economic issues and how they impact your life in just a few minutes a day. Follow thesum.news on Instagram for the full story.