Trendy or Dehumanizing?

The Pros and Cons of Fast Fashion


Matthew Worku, Staffer

CLICK! “Your item has been added to your shopping bag,” read the trending fashion website during its never ending 50% off on everything sale.

Shopping through companies that use fast fashion is at an all time high during the upcoming holiday season. Clothing companies who use a ‘fast fashion’ model are essentially brands that quickly replicate runway trends for a much cheaper price. While customers might enjoy shopping at a low cost for trendy items, it is important to understand the process that goes into making these products.

“Fast Fashion is beneficial because it gives people an option that is cheap and trendy,” sophomore Reece Perry said. “It’s a lot easier to purchase clothes when they’re a lot cheaper.

Although fast fashion can be convenient and affordable, “the idea that all companies take responsibility for their supply chains and ensure factory workers have a living wage and conditions are safe is a bit of a pipe dream considering the very exploitation of that labor is what allows those companies to increase their profit margins,” George Washington University reports.

“I try to avoid fast fashion to the best of my ability. Knowing about the companies’ treatment towards workers feels unethical to shop with them,” senior Emma Pierce said. “Workers are put into poor work conditions and not paid enough money for the work they do, often working hours on end without breaks.”

According to Good On You, fast fashion can be defined as low-cost, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand.

“Fast fashion are items that are mass produced, and not ethically made,” junior Wendy Gonzales said. “Fast fashion isn’t cheap, someone is paying for it somewhere.”

Many believe that fast fashion companies have trendy items.

“I love shopping at easy first hand companies because they have items that my friends and I have in common,” junior Chloe Avila said. “I enjoy having people compliment me on my fashion choices.”

Along with environmental harm, fast fashion has a human cost. Many fast fashion workers work in dangerous condition, with little to no basic rights. According to GWU Law Brief, approximately 75 million fast fashion workers are employed, yet only 2% of those workers actually make a living wage, 

“Workers have to spend a lot of time working with little to no benefits,” senior Vinedict Aguilar said. “There is a lot of unequal treatment when it comes to workers of fast fashion. They have to spend a lot of time in factories under bad conditions like little to no breaks, heat exhaustion, and hardly any medical treatment.”

There are many ways to make fashion more sustainable by thrifting, shopping at second hand business, purchasing vintage items.

“I only shop fast fashion once every few months,” senior Erick Sanchez said. “It’s better for the environment, and easier on my wallet. It’s nice because I don’t want to spend $100 on sweater that’ll only last me two months.”