Mackenzie Pagels ‘21, Lyon Life Editor-in-Chief
Fast fashion is defined as a term used to describe a highly profitable business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, though mass-producing them at low cost. Not only is this illusion gaining millions of dollars from the toxic chemicals used in the fabrics, but fast fashion also encourages child labor in countries such as China by forcing children into harsh labor-intensive in order to sell their products for cheaper. Little to no customers know that some of their clothes are being made from children who get paid close to nothing while being up on their feet for up to 12 hours a day to make high-quality designs at a very low price for the first-world buyers.
Some businesses in this industry include but are not limited to Shein, Romwe, Forever 21, Missguided, Urban Outfitters, and more. Senior and local fashion icon, Delaney Chapuseaux shares her opinion on these popular brands. “I used to shop at Shein because I loved that it was so cheap,” Chapuseaux said. She continued, “At the time, I didn’t know that it was fast fashion or even what fast fashion was. When I found out through social media that I had bought from a company that was a promoter of fast fashion, it made me so upset. She continued, “Fast fashion takes part in child labor which is something that is unacceptable. I do not support it, and that is why I no longer buy from brands like Shein.” And Chapuseaux is right: fast fashion offers a cheap, but disturbing alternative to companies who do not use this tactic. Although these clothing brands have decent looking clothing, the companies use harsh dyes and toxic chemicals on their fabrics to make profit on items that look more expensive than they actually are.
Companies use fast fashion “techniques” such as increasing production and using cheaper, but toxic textile dyes, causing societal and environmental harm. When using this so-called strategy, companies are polluting the environment with toxic chemicals and also contributing to the exploitation of children. The work conditions are damaging to young children’s health and lifestyles. The amount of hours spent on end is not worth the cheaper prices or discounts in clothing. When shopping these brands, clothing items are depicted as “comfortable” and “good material” when they are really being poorly made by the hands of young kids.
Next time when looking for a statement piece, make sure to do your research. Instead of supporting fast fashion brands, try stopping by your local, small business shop. Make sure to take into consideration the unjust processes taken to make your everyday outfits.