In 2001, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center sued clothing chain store Forever 21 due to evidence that they had been abusing their workers. As described by The New Yorker, this consisted of having 12 hour days, six day weeks, earning significantly less than minimum wage and forcing them to work in a factory infested with cockroaches and rats. A similar cheap chain clothing store, H&M, was put under investigation in 2013 for hiring underaged workers and allowing them to work long hours, according to The Guardian.
This abuse is occurring both domestically and internationally. In addition to the abuse of workers in the fast fashion industry, it is undeniable that the tendency for us to wear clothes for one season and then trash them is hurting our environment and our wallets.
Business administration freshman Angelique Daniella, said she feels exceptionally passionate about this topic, so she chooses to thrift shop and resell her clothes instead of heading straight for retail. This year Daniella chose a creative and easy way to do this.
At the end of winter quarter, she decided to host a dorm room pop up shop to sell some of the clothes she had thrifted over the past year in order to pay her sorority dues. Daniella hosted this sale right outside of her dorm room in North Mountain and used clothing racks and suitcases to showcase the clothing.
The pop-up shop had everything from swimsuits to formal dresses to casual spring outfits for sale. Each item she sold was around three to five dollars, which resulted in a total revenue of $304. Daniella explained it was so successful because of her ability to network with girls in her sorority and their friends. Daniella ended up having to close the pop-up shop an hour and a half early because she had sold practically all of her items.
Daniella has another pop up shop in the works for the end of May. She aims to have other girls come and bring their clothes to sell and trade to avoid running out of items.
Daniella said she wants everyone who stops by her pop-up shop to remember that buying from bulk retail is bad for the environment, and thrifting has more benefits than just getting unique items.
“When you thrift you’re passing on clothing that brought you joy at one point to someone else, and the cycle just keeps giving,” Daniella said.