OPINION: Fast fashion

Be consious of the excruciating truth behind popular clothing brands


Minh Anh Le

Waking up to an average brown box on their doorstep seems normal to adults but, for teenagers they light up with the satisfaction of spending their monthly allowance on something they can’t wait to arrive.
Waking up to a black pit sky where they exchange tired eyes under the still visible moonlight, women and children who live across the globe face yet another eighteen-hour shift at a run-down factory to earn a wage that barely keeps their family afloat.
Waking up to an all too bright computer screen that stings their eyes, small designers come to realize the idea that they trade sleep just to be robbed by a billion-dollar corporation.
And all of us wake to an ever-increasing temperature that descends our earth into the ocean just further beyond our homes.
A shirt is spun by many strings of life. Some have rougher textures than others. Some are more visible.
Fast fashion, mass production of poor quality clothing, alters the beauty of each garment by turning something most people love into a money-making machine.
According to The Cut, a New York Magazine covering women’s lives and interests, workers who make clothes for the company Shein are being paid as low as $566 per month to make 500 garments a day in a factory filled with toxic chemicals. This is borderline modern slavery.
Of the 100 billion garments produced each year, 92 million tons end up in landfills. To put things into perspective, this means that the equivalent of a rubbish truck full of clothes ends up in landfill sites every second,” as reported by earth.org, a blog promoting environmental sustainability.
Fast fashion brands create a false reality of the time and effort that go into making a piece of clothing by exploiting labor. Simultaneously, they perpetuate overconsumption, as their clothes are designed to be worn once or twice before falling apart or going out of style.
As excruciating as it is, this information is factual. I really don’t blame anyone for buying fast fashion because, at times, it might have been the only option they could afford.
My concern is directed toward corporations and how they have constructed a world that is so deeply ingrained in overconsumption.
However, money has power. Each dollar you spend is a vote. So, please, spend it wisely, because one’s well-being shouldn’t be at the expense of others.
For those who face financial constraints, the best alternative is thrifting to finding new outfits for yourself.
Second, stop overconsumption altogether. Don’t let a fifteen-second TikTok video pressure you into changing your entire wardrobe. Find your style and buy staple pieces for your closet.
Until we take action, we are going to live in a world where our happiness furthers the struggles of others.
Sustainability looks great on everyone.