What is Fast Fashion & How Can I Avoid It?

Fast fashion is a term that I have been hearing tossed around a lot more frequently. You are probably familiar with what fast fashion is, or at least have a basic understanding of it. Fast fashion is simply clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk into the stores. Due to fashion trends moving so rapidly and constantly changing, a huge amount of clothing that does not get sold goes straight into landfills.

I am guilty of buying from fast fashion brands but have been trying to get better at avoiding them. A few examples of fast fashion brands include Shein, Romwe, Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21. It is easy to buy from these brands because fast fashion brands tend to be very cheap. As a college student, cheap clothes are a dream come true!  

However, these brands are not only bad for the environment, they typically do not treat their workers well. Workers do not get paid a living wage and most companies abuse child labor laws. In fine print on a brand's website, you may find something along the lines of, “We abide by child labor laws”. Sounds promising, right? Keep in mind that every country does have different child labor laws though, so this may not be as promising as it sounds. 

It is hard to not buy fast fashion as mentioned before, but at least having knowledge of what it is and trying your best to avoid purchasing from them is a great start. One way you can start is by going thrifting! Second-hand and thrift stores are cheap which is a plus, and when you buy from these stores you are indeed making a difference. Buying from these stores allows you to get creative with your outfits also. It can be a fun hobby to repurpose clothes to be more you!

Another way to avoid contributing to fast fashion is when online shopping just to be aware that the words “organic” and “eco-friendly” can mean different things. Lastly, another example of how to avoid fast fashion is renting. Renting clothing is not just for a prom tuxedo. For example, the website Rent the Runway allows you to rent clothing. If you have a formal or wedding you need to attend and need a dress that you will only wear once, rent it! It is definitely a hard habit to get into, but buying something that you will only wear one time is wasteful in a variety of ways.

Not contributing to fast fashion is a hard habit to break, but I encourage you to start trying! It will save you money and you can rock your unique outfits.