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The Fast Fashion Industry

The term fast fashion references the practice of mass-producing replicas of high fashion clothing at a cheaper cost. Many fashion companies outsource their labor for low-cost labor in developing countries. The inexpensive labor costs allow the fashion companies to sell their clothing to consumers at a cheaper rate, thus encouraging people to buy clothing at a higher rate. Workers are highly exploited through low pay rates, lack of benefits, and poor working conditions. The fashion industry contributes to global warming by consuming 79 trillion liters of water and producing 92 million tons of waste per year. Fast fashion is unsustainable because the clothing was made for the sole purpose of short-term usage.

How Has The Industry Been Affected by TikTok?

Tik Tok has become a popular social media platform (almost unexpectedly) for several reasons. Firstly, the algorithm is unmatched. It is successful in gathering videos that are tailored to the user’s interests making it easy to scroll through the app for hours. Fashion companies have taken notice of TikTok’s popularity and began to create profiles, pay for ads, and even sponsor creators. This greatly benefits the fashion industry as they can reach a wider audience thus garnering more consumers. TikTok also plays a substantial role in highlighting fashion trends. As an increasing number of creators accept sponsorships, hyperconsumerism is rising. Through the now rapid trend cycle, fast fashion brands are able to quickly supply the demand for trendy clothing.

This is not an article that is trying to convince you to stop shopping at Zara. This article is not trying to force you to start thrifting or purchase more expensive clothing labeled as sustainable. Rather, it is to highlight how fast fashion continues to thrive because of platforms such as TikTok. Fast fashion is not a problem that can be solved overnight but it starts with you and me. Simple efforts such as purchasing clothing less frequently or participating less in trends and more in personal style are far more sustainable to express yourself through fashion. 

Skylar Shaw

Howard '23

Hello, My name is Skylar Shaw, and I am from The Bronx, New York. Currently, I am a Junior at Howard University, where I study Economics.
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