Our Obsession with Fast Fashion

Kari Hunter

We’ve become obsessed with Fast Fashion which is defined as cheap trendy clothing that takes ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and quickly brings them to the general public.  We find stores with the trendiest clothing, without even checking what goes into it. The trend of Fast Fashion has led to devastating consequences of overconsumption of clothing that contributes to climate change.

Fast Fashion has become a growing trend around the world, contributing to overconsumption.  According to Edge, it can take up to 200 years for clothing containing unbiodegradable materials to completely biodegrade. Future generations will inherit our landfills that have overtaken nature only to uncover evidence of stores such as Urban Outfitters and Forever 21. Overtime, landfills release harmful gases such as methane and carbon dioxide into the air. These two gases are the leading contributors to climate change. Since consumers over-purchase clothing from Fast Fashion brands, buying and discarding clothing has become a norm.

Unfortunately, finding brands that use ethical and sustainable sources can be a challenge. Fast Fashion brands offer undeniably low prices in comparison to sustainable brands that tend to be more expensive.

However, there are apps that demonstrate sustainable efforts to reduce the amount of clothing waste while offering consumers a chance to make money. Poshmark and Depop are online sites for selling unwanted clothing and buying second-hand clothes at a discounted price. Some high-end sustainable brands like Everlane, Reformation, and Patagonia are also on these sites for much lower prices than the original retail cost.

If you prefer to shop in person to see what exactly you are purchasing, shops such as Uptown Cheapskate and Urban Xchange, located in Phoenix, are meant for you. They work similarly to Poshmark and Depop as you can sell unwanted clothing and purchase second-hand. On their website, they list what brands they accept, and your unwanted clothing can be sold or exchanged for store credit. On the other hand, thrift stores such as Goodwill and Savers rely on donations from consumers to make a profit.

These alternative sustainable ways to shop are great ways to find unique clothing while combating the need to purchase from Fast Fashion industries.