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  • Writer's pictureCaylie Poola

Fast Fashion Costs More Than Chanel

I love clothes. And I have a lot. My style always seems to be changing, but I truly love expressing myself with what I wear (if you ever see me in the grocery store sporting sweatpants and slippers, no you didn't). The seratonin I feel when I go shopping or get a new package in the mail is very real. (Just being honest here)

Fast Fashion is a term I have been hearing more and more lately. And being a shopaholic myself (obviously), I couldn't help but feel like it was a topic I should be more educated on. So, I began reading, watching YouTube videos, and essentially consuming content all about what fast fashion really is and why I should care about it (spoiler alert, we should all care).

So here is the basics of my crash course on Fast Fashion for you all to read and learn about too. You're welcome.


First of all, it took me less than 10 seconds into my research to realize I am a consumer of fast fashion, and have been, forever really.

  • Fast Fashion is essentially referring to clothes being mass produced, cheaply made, unsustainably/unethically to keep up with societies ever changing need to be trendy and to keep up in the fast paced clothing market.

  • Most companies who would fall under the category of fast fashion come out with new clothes on their websites/in stores weekly or even daily. It's almost like the second you see someone wear it for the first time and think "oh that's actually cute", you'll find it on the website of Brandy Melville or Forever 21 almost directly after.

  • These companies make a fortune off of fast fashion because everyone wants to feel stylish and fit in, especially since these clothes come at a more affordable price than other more ethically made retailers.

Fast fashion conflicts with the mentality of being a bargain shopper because you really can't avoid fast fashion without committing to spending a little more on your clothing and accessory choices. Trust me when I say this is not easy for me either, but acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step to getting better, right?

So you may ask yourself, why should I care about fast fashion anyway?

  • If you can buy the shirt for $5, the opportunity for a decently paid factory job just cannot logistically exist. Someone has to pay for the real price of that crop top, and at $5 it isn't you.

  • It's terrible for our environment (and yes, even if you donate your barely worn leather leggings to charity, they are likely going to end their existence in a landfill) Fashion is polluting our earth - next to oil.

  • The quality is poor, so you're not really saving money in the long - term.

  • While several clothing companies design, advertise and have their headquarters in the US, these clothes are made in factories overseas. The overseas workers not being paid enough & face terrible conditions. AND, these jobs could be kept in the US to help create more income opportunities.

  • Never knowing if you are really stylish & trendy or if you just routinely buy the Walmart version of what Hailey Bieber is wearing (anyone can buy clothes, not everyone can be a fashionista).

So.... what now?

  • Go thrifting - seriously. You can find a thrift shop in basically any town, (I have personally found some really cool pants at Goodwill). You are saving money too (a plus side any college student would respect)

  • When you do buy into fast fashion - donate your clothes when you aren't planning on wearing them anymore. Take care of your clothes so they can be in good condition for someone else to appreciate.

  • DIY your old jeans or sweatshirts by cropping, painting or being creative with them to give some new life to it!

  • Buy Sustainably! Pay attention to clothing companies who share messages of environmental awareness & give your business to local shops whenever you can.

Some Places to Ethically Swipe your Credit Card AKA Slow Fashion: (keep an eye out for these awesome brands that are built on / making great, real, permanent change in our world)

  • Patagonia

  • Eileen Fisher

  • ABLE

  • Reformation

  • Levi's

  • thredUP

  • H&M Conscious

  • Rent the Runway

  • Polo Ralph Lauren

  • Athleta

  • Columbia

  • The list could go on, so research more! (plz)

Places to Avoid (I know, this is hard, I never said this change would be easy)

  • Missguided

  • Forever 21


  • SheIN

  • Boohoo

  • Nasty Gal (this one hurts)

  • PrettyLittleThings

  • Fashion Nova

The list sadly, does not end there.

Be smart about where you open your wallet, and invest in clothes that will probably last longer and fit better anyway. I mean, with all the tank tops you keep rebuying you'd probably be able to afford a Chanel Bag soon enough.


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