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Fast Fashion

by Lauren Pantzer

      Are you guilty of walking into Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, etc. and splurging because you can buy multiple items for a very reasonable price? I definitely am. Fast fashion is “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends”. This sounds great, although, more than 150 Billion garments are produced annually and Americans throw away 7 pounds of clothing per person every year. Fast fashion items are usually worn less than 5 times and only kept for 35 days until they break, get worn down, or a new trend comes in. Plastic microfibers shed from the synthetic fibers used in fast fashion clothing and account for 85% of the human made material found along ocean shores. Additionally, production outside the United States and Europe result in those countries bearing the brunt of pollution and less than 1% of females in the fashion industry in Vietnam and Bangladesh make a livable wage. While there is not an overall solution to this problem, there are many ways to help. First, one can shop at stores such as Reformation. Reformation invests in green building infrastructure to minimize their waste, water usage and energy footprint. They have been 100% carbon neutral since 2015 and recycle or donate all their textile scraps. Reformation is one of my favorite brands because I love everything they stand for and how their clothing is relatively well priced. Alternatively, reusing clothing is very important, and this is something I do often. I love to cut t-shirts into crop tops or tank tops when I don't want the shirt anymore. I also love cutting plain jeans and adding frills and rips. It's also helpful to sell your clothes once you don't want them anymore, as they will be worn again and reused. Another alternative to combat the global effects of fast fashion is to thrift. Through thrifting, clothing is not wasted and it is sold at a very reasonable price. Although I dont thrift often, thrifting brings back old styles and trends. These days, it is trendy to wear vintage clothing and wide legged pants which can be found at thrift stores. So, try to suppress your urge to go on a shopping spree at a store with fast fashion and try to thrift. Maybe you’ll bring back an old trend!

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