Fast fashion is less popular due to its low quality and environmental costs. FOREVER 21
The evolution of fashion has changed our shopping habits. Fast fashion arrived, making stylish clothes more affordable. Then trend cycles sped up and shopping became a form of entertainment.
However, fast fashion now faces a bottleneck. With decreased sales volumes and competition from H&M, Zara and The Gap in the Chinese market, US clothing brand Forever 21 announced it will fully withdraw from China.
Fast fashion may not be as popular as it once was. Discounts, clearance sales and closures clearly show that demand for fast fashion is getting worse. Research from US-based fashion resale website Thredup points out that one in four women aged 18-25 plans to quit fast fashion in 2019. A major reason is to be more eco-friendly.
Millennials, who were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, are now the largest consumer group. Fast fashion, with its cheap and low-quality materials meant to be thrown away the next season, is no longer attractive.
According to Huffpost, because of cyberspace, social media, and e-commerce, the young generation has developed a different idea of value and consumption. Fast fashion brands cannot meet their demands for quality and uniqueness.
The other big factor is that fast fashion brings problems to the environment and to public health. On the one hand, the constant demand for clothing puts enormous stress on land and water resources. Farming cotton for clothing ruins the soil, and pesticides are overused. So are harmful dyes. It makes the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water.
On the other hand, fast production also means that more clothes are disposed quickly, which creates a huge amount of waste. Old clothes go to landfills, which will further increase the pollution of soil and water.
Fast fashion also puts incredible stress on workers. More than 1,100 people died in a clothes factory collapse in Bangladesh six years ago. The collapse uncovered the bad situation of the workers. They worked overtime against their will. Some averaged up to 14 hours a day, making only $2 (about 14 yuan). Furthermore, most of them were women with children to feed.
British designer Vivienne Westwood once said, “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” Buying is what makes the fashion world go round. It’s time to start questioning fast fashion and see the true cost of those cheap T-shirts.