Written by Saarthak Jain, a grade 9 student.
Before I start my essay I would like to start by explaining what fast-fashion is – it is the production of cheap clothes rapidly by mass market retailers according to latest fashion trends, like the companies of Zara, H &M, UNIQLO, et cetera compared to branded companies like Dior, Louis Vuitton etc.
The fashion community is plagued with scandals about stealing designs, racism and unethical labor practices, not to mention the harm to the environment.
Brands attract negative attention for unethical practices, like Zara, the Spanish fast fashion brand. In the past they have been accused of anti-Semitism (discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group), ripping off young designers, using child and slave labor (including young Syrian refugees) and have even been sued by a woman who found a dead mouse stitched into an article of their clothing, according to British online newspaper – The Independent.
In 2014, they were once again accused of anti-Semitism when they put a toddler’s shirt in their stores that featured stripes and a Star-of-David-like design that reminded many shoppers of the uniforms Jews were forced to wear in German concentration camps during World War II (Germans killed Jews during this time). It was quickly pulled from stores. As much as fast fashion companies would like you to believe they had no intent to offend, the truth is that they don’t care about their costumers, fashion or ethics. They only care about profits.
This is why I dislike fast-fashion
First, fast fashion retail houses use cheap, used material to churn out cloths quickly. These clothes use cheap clothes, toxic dyes (which have damaged my skin) and stolen designs to help cut budgets in the company. Where as branded retailers use original designs, better dyes and material even if it is more expensive or time consuming.
Second, as I said, these retailers use cheap, used material to produce clothes rapidly, this makes the clothes more disposable and cheap. People are more likely to throw cheap clothes than the ones that are expensive – that’s just the way human psychology works.
Now, many might say that buying branded clothes are too expensive to buy (expensive, but worth it ).But the fact is that these clothes from fast fashion retailers are not that durable and can get damaged more easily, but branded clothes have a better quality and are more comfortable. So in reality a fast fashion shopper would end up spending more money annually than a person who buys branded clothes.
Third, now I am a person who likes to wear clothes in which I can express my self, feel comfortable and most specially wearing clothes that are different from what the other peer wear. But the problem with that is that fast fashion companies do not actually limit their production. They produce their stock according to demand. Therefore, you will see people wearing the exact same clothes you are wearing. There’s no exclusivity. However, branded fashion companies actually have a limited production line, therefore fewer people would have the same designed clothes as you. That gives the clothes more value.
I want make another point, which is one of the main concerns in today’s world – global warming and the existence of excess Carbon dioxide. Fast fashion produces chap clothes and uses toxic chemicals to do so. This leaves an enormous environmental footprint in both its production and disposal. These kind of production requires a considerable amount of energy and resources. Also, the chemicals used, like fabric dyes contaminate fresh water.
I have learned that more than 60 percent of fabric fibers are now synthetics. What this means is that when our clothes reach the landfills, it will not bio-degrade. Also, these microfibers are ending up in our seas and oceans as well (they have been found in glaciers too!)
Also, did you know that fashion produces a tenth of the world’s carbon emissions? Doesn’t that tell you how much fast fashion is affecting us?
This is why we need to abolish fast fashion – we need to save our planet.
Written by Saarthak Jain.
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