Arts & Entertainment

Style is Hot, Fast Fashion is Not

the dismay felt by the general public. All in all, this series of events certainly raises some valid questions regarding the functionality of the stock market.

Ruby McMahon

What could be wrong with hundreds of influencers and celebrities promoting fast fashion sites at inconceivably low prices?

Despite fast fashion’s attractive prices, corruption lies beneath. From child labor to privacy scandals,
these sites have unethical business practices, yet are making millions. Thrifting is a popular option to avoid
s u p p o r t i n g problematic fast fashion sites and their negative practices. Fast fashion is the mass production of clothes made by cheap textiles, and as of 2019 according to the New York Times,
produces 15 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. This makes it the second most polluting industry, and it’s ranked in earnings as high as $3 trillion annually. Recently, China has become the biggest producer of fast fashion, including major source Shein, which has grown in worldwide popularity. The Shein official Instagram has nearly 18 million followers. Millions of teenagers buy from here because of its
inexpensive prices, its popularity on TikTok, and its rapid response to clothing trends. Despite using unsustainable textiles, plagiarizing other brands and artists, and leaking private information of 6 million
shoppers after a security breach, sales are skyrocketing.
These low cost items have driven the popularity of second hand. Shein and many other clothing brands have questionable practices; however, it has influenced masses of people to consider second hand clothing
options to get similar prices to that of fast fashion stores, with less detrimental effects towards the environment, and to explore self expression.

Junior Mya Wynn has shopped second hand for years in an attempt to slow down the rapidly worsening crisis of production pollution and still shop her style for cheap. “I’ve been shopping second hand a little bit
my whole life, because my mom has always been pro-thrifting, but around three years ago, I started getting all of my clothes second hand. I think that was because I started getting a lot more involved in the environment, and I was researching, ‘What can I do to not have a horrible impact on the world?’” Wynn said.

Shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Depop are great options for people trying to
branch out and be cautious. Sophomore Faith Foltz encourages people to consider these second hand options to develop a unique style while decreasing the amount of clothes bought from fast
fashion sites. “I love fashion because clothes are so fun to play around with, to see how styles
are constantly changing and how different trends are coming back. I would recommend
thrifting because it’s cheaper, you can find cuter items, and it’s better than shopping through fast fashion. If you do shop by fast fashion websites, though, be careful with where you are buying from, and try to lessen the amount you purchase,” said Foltz.

It is in fact critical for people to lessen the amount of clothes bought via fast fashion outlets. Fast fashion clothing is low-priced because of its cheap textiles made of synthetic microfibers. According to BBC, the average American disposes around 82 pounds of clothing annually. These microfibers do not
decompose, and 85 percent of thrown away clothes in the U.S. will be put into landfills or incinerated. Vintage clothing, however, when made was produced to last for the buyer. Textiles were manufactured with more sustainable materials and less were bought all together. According to The True Cost Documentary,
around the world 80 billion new clothes are being purchased annually, which is 400 percent more than the amount purchased 20 years ago. Thrifting for vintage pieces may help reduce the amount of textile waste because of their durability, and encourage fashion creativity.

For freshman Mikala Bourgeois, thrifting is an outlet to find clothes that show off her personality.
“I first started shopping a couple months ago and what inspired me was I kept wanting to change my style. I want to be more of myself and use clothes that show who I am, and thrifting helps me do that,” said Bourgeois.
While there are no definitive answers on where everyone should shop, through research and consideration, people can make safer choices and express themselves just as well.

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