Black Friday is perhaps one of the most anticipated days of the year for many. Right before the holidays, people can pick out gifts for others or themselves, all at reduced prices. This day, however, is not something we ought to anticipate, as many of the brands and stores participating in the sales are not ethical. Merriam-Webster defines fast fashion as “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers”. Fast fashion brands are popular for keeping up with trends and making them affordable to many; however, that affordability comes at a heavy price for others.
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of the clothing the average person has in their closet is considered fast fashion and is not ethical for the environment or the people who create it. Fast fashion brands tend to have their clothing made in developing countries, as they can ensure that wages will be low, which allows them to sell their clothes at such low prices. Because these clothes are made to be affordable, the quality of the piece suffers. In the long run, it is best to invest in a garment that will last years instead of in something that begins to fall apart after only a couple of wears or washes.
Some popular fast fashion stores are Fashion Nova, Forever 21, ZARA, H&M and ASOS. Although these brands are cheap, it is important to remember that it is not only them that are unethical. Many more expensive brands are not great either, such as Nike, J. Crew, Free People, Anthropologie and more. Just because a store is more expensive does not mean that it is doing more for their factory workers.
It is difficult to find items that are made ethically nowadays, which is why it is important to be conscious of what you are buying and not support the fast fashion system. Before purchasing an item, check to see where it is made and check the material and construction. Ask yourself if the piece is worth it and if you will wear it more than just a few times. And ultimately, to help reduce fashion waste, try to purchase secondhand items or vintage clothing. For information on specific fashion brands, check out the website https://goodonyou.eco.
By Gabby Axner, Staff Writer