Is it ethical to shop in fast fashion stores? – High Berkeley jacket


Pro

By Mauricio Sierra

Over the past decades, the clothing industry has established itself as an invaluable part of today’s economy. In particular, the fast fashion industry has exploded alongside a growing population. Fast fashion offers society an easy method of purchasing with many benefits for both the customer and the supplier. It remains the most accessible way for families, especially low-income ones, to buy clothes. This production method is an inexpensive and reliable way to buy all kinds of clothing.

In the United States, “88% of consumers prefer to buy fast fashion,” according to sustainable fashion site Panaprium. Fast fashion has many benefits for various sectors of society. For starters, she employs thousands of people in the process of creating and selling clothes. In addition, the “US textile sector alone is worth $ 70 billion and $ 23 billion by export factor,” according to SelectUSA.

This is in part thanks to its low costs and accessibility that help fast fashion become an easy way to consume clothes. Fast fashion offers a cheap and fast way to buy clothes. Brands such as Zara, Forever 21, American Eagle and Uniqlo, among others, offer customers trendy clothes at a good price so they don’t have to buy expensive clothes. Another advantage is the accessibility of fast fashion because it is much more affordable for people all over the world.

Zara, for example, has 345 stores across the United States, with Inditex, its parent company, employing 144,116 people in the United States in 2020. Given these numbers, companies could be working towards increasing their wages. and incentives such as discounts on clothing for workers. Companies could also expand coverage of workers’ health benefits and provide them with a healthier working environment.

This doesn’t mean that everything is perfect in the fast fashion industry. A major issue that remains largely unresolved is the pay gap. While companies rake in millions of dollars each year, employees at lower levels don’t have the same luck. It is essential to tackle this barbaric problem which affects the livelihoods of millions of people around the world. We need to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the wage gap in order to educate consumers about the companies from which they buy.

However, “fast” fashion can still be useful if the industry is reformed properly.

Fast fashion is a great way for consumers to access affordable clothing. From manufacturers to store managers, this is a business that seems to be booming, and it’s here to stay.

Con

By Sophie Horvath

Although many teens consider themselves the most rebellious and expressive people, they can still get addicted to the colorful allure of the fast fashion industry. Everything from our musical tastes, the color of our hair and, most importantly, our clothes, communicates who we want to be. In the teenage world, popular social media apps like TikTok and Instagram are driving new fashion trends at a million miles per minute. While it may sound fun and exciting, fast fashion is taking silent havoc on our environment, and it must end.

Pop-up fashion is certainly the right word for this fast-rate industry; everything in today’s clothing industry is fast-paced, from trends to ideas to manufacturing. The goal of this phenomenon is speed and quantity. A good example of this is how a fast British fashion company reproduced and sold a bodysuit that Kylie Jenner wore just ten days earlier.

With activists like Greta Thunberg raising awareness about the climate crisis, Gen Z is seemingly well informed and we spend much of our time worrying about the future of our planet. However, while this may be true, teens are still one of the most active groups participating in the fast fashion industry, which is responsible for up to 10 percent of total global carbon emissions. This number is only getting worse: it is expected to reach 50% by 2030.

What are the solutions ? It’s actually quite simple. Since teens are such an influential group of people in the fashion industry, we need to take matters into our own hands to create a cultural shift. This has already started to happen with the increase in the popularity of shopping at thrift stores. Gen Z teens often feel like they find more pieces that are unique to them in vintage or second-hand stores, and there is something for everyone. The so-called “grandfather” sweater is something only a thrift store can reveal. Half the fun of saving money is finding a gem after sifting through shelves on shelves of old clothes. The process even requires you to get more creative and try out different styles to make a particular room work for you. This has the added benefit of being a cheaper alternative to sustainable clothing brands, which are often expensive.

Besides buying in a more sustainable way, not buying as much is another simple solution. Trends don’t have to dictate your style or the money you spend. The less money spent on low cost manufacturing, the better. Instead, investing more in less quality clothing is a smarter move. This way you can extend the life and usability of an item. The rapid pace of trends can be hard to keep up with and enjoy, and a nice pair of thrifty Levi’s won’t go out of style anytime soon.


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