Fast Fashion: Buyers Be Aware

Originally posted 2018-11-19 10:38:37

By Diana Chan |


Products from stores like Forever 21, H&M, and ZARA have been coined as “fast fashion.” Fast fashion is typically described as the industry’s ability to design, manufacture, and sell new styles in stores within a fraction of time.

Fast fashion is enticing because consumers can buy products that mimic luxury fashion without having to pay the luxury brand price. The wide variety of options and daily shipments of new styles to store shelves also appeal to the wide array of consumers who want to keep up with the constantly changing trends.

But with the appeal of fast fashion, there are several shortcomings. The constant churning of new styles and mass production create low quality goods that are made with cheap materials, which in turn leads to products that are often thrown out and end up in landfills. In terms of health, Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, and Forever 21 failed to meet lead limits in their accessories and handbags. The issue of labor conditions to produce fast fashion products have also been at the forefront. In Bangladesh, a garment factory collapsed, killing hundreds. In California, the U.S. Department of Labor discovered minimum wage and overtime violations at a factory that made clothing for Forever 21. Although contractors oversee the conditions of the factories and not the actual clothing company, the continuing cycle of mass production of fast fashion has led to overlooked labor conditions in the U.S. and overseas.

Fast fashion is appealing because of the low prices and the myriad of clothes to keep up with constantly changing trends. But buyers beware—when purchasing from “fast fashion” retailers, be conscious of what goes into the products and what comes out.


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