Fast fashion is one of the leading clothing genres in the US and Europe right now because of how cheap and easily accessible it is. With more than 100 million consumers worldwide, brands like Boohoo and Shien are dominating the culture with their extremely affordable copies of the biggest designer items.
Stores like these don’t have any brick-and-mortar locations and strictly do business online. Many people are quick to buy without asking many questions about what makes it easy to buy from these brands, but that kind of efficiency on a large scale often comes with an even larger price of its own behind the scenes.
Companies like this are usually working under harmful conditions, both for the workers and for the environment, in order to meet the demand of customers quickly. Most, if not all, of the production for fast fashion brands comes from the Middle East or Eastern Asia, and because of the loose labor laws, there are many claims of unethical treatment towards the employees.
This comes from complaints of cheap wages that are as low as 33 cents an hour for twelve or more hours a day in unsafe environments. Boohoo was recently facing controversy in 2021 for refusing to even pay their workers for a period during COVID.
The use of non-biodegradable fabrics such as polyester also contributes to the ability to push out over 1000 products daily. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of environmental pollution because 87% of clothing ends up in landfills.
When using such cheap fabrics that give out within weeks and are difficult to recycle, it motivates people to discard them even more. There is little to no transparency when it comes to fast fashion brands, which makes it easier for them to operate in conditions like these.
In the clothing industry, fast fashion is the business model of replicating recent catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, mass-producing them at a low cost, and bringing them to retail stores quickly, while demand is at its highest.Google.