Updated: Jan 3
Okay, let's talk quickly WHAT IS FAST FASHION? SO, Fast fashion is the term, basically used to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk into stores to meet the new trends. The collections are often based on designs presented at Fashion Week events and allows mainstream consumers to purchase trendy clothing at an affordable price.
Years ago, there were four fashion 'trend seasons' per year. But nowadays it goes so far that different trends are introduced much more often - sometimes even two or three times per month. Let’s be honest here: the problem is that fast fashion is doing a huge harm for our planet. Brands seem to care about the profit, while they exploit cheap laborers in developing countries, dump toxic waste into rivers and fill our landfills with cheap clothing.
Now, let's talk for a little bit about the brands I would like to mention.
1. Victoria’s Secret
Firstly, Victoria’s Secret has been revealed to use toxic chemicals in the Greenpeace report. In addition, the brand is not transparent about the factories it’s working with and the company fails to provide a living wage to its garment workers.
Moreover, Victoria's secret have never made clothes for women over a certain size, even as someone who is wearing for example size 40 or even 38 but has a larger chest than usual. It means that if you are an average woman and do not have models measurements, they don't see you as their client and it's not a secret at all, they say it very clearly- in an interview for Vogue VS creative director, Ed Razek, talked about how he had no interest in marketing to plus size women now or even in the future. Seriously? Moreover, he doesn't see any problem that it's not available for everyone and this looks like a good branding for them. Well, it sounds so arrogant for me, especially when Victoria's Secret is one of the biggest lingerie brands in the world and literally saying they have no interest in marketing to over half of the female population because these women just simply don't fit into VS "fantasy"... Well, what can I say- it's enough to know me this that I wouldn't buy their production. And looks like I am not the only one, who think this way- women are already starting to turn away from the Victoria’s Secret beauty standards and looking for other brands that represent women in all sizes.
2. Fashion Nova
Fashion Nova has received the worst rating by Good On You. The brand scored ‘very poor’ on environmental impact, labor conditions, and animal welfare.
Must admit, Fashion nova is very good at influencer marketing. But otherwise, it sells cheap clothing that was made by underpaid workers in Los Angeles in quantities our planet can’t support anymore. Did you know that The New York Times published a report on Fashion Nova? Looks like this flashy online retailer of the Instagram hiding that factories, making Fashion Nova garments were under investigation by the US Labor Department for underpaying workers and owing them millions in back wages... Oh yes, seriously... That revelation is shocking. Now it's not so hard to realize how the brand releases hundreds of styles weekly at ridiculously low prices. Fashion Nova — and the collective fast fashion ecosystem — was condemned and criticized online, but the report seemed to create no significant shockwaves and it makes me feel really sad that nobody cares about it too much.
3. Pretty Little Thing
In 2019, they were accused of removing labels from cheaper branded clothing and re-selling as their own - for double price. For example, one customer claimed she had bought a pair of jogging bottoms for £20. When they arrived, they had a PLT label stitched into the seam, but she found the remains of a Fruit of the Loom (very cheap, basic clothing brand) label on the other side. Really embarrasing ... Later on Pretty Little Thing had horrified shoppers when the brand announced on its website that the clothes may contain toxic chemicals that can cause cancer and birth defects. How do you feel about it? On the other hand, at least they were honest about it…
The brand also has a completely ridiculous sustainability page on their website. A brand’s sustainability page should showcase all the ways the brand is trying to be more sustainable. Instead of this, Pretty Little Thing decided to put all the responsibility on the consumers and give you a couple of very basic tips on how to care for your clothes :) I agree that clothing care is important, but I find it outrageous when brands create huge amounts of waste, do nothing about it, and then they tell you how to be more sustainable. You shouldn’t accept that as consumer and it shouldn’t have to be on us to undo all the damage these brands create! Nice!
In 2019, they hit the headlines for selling a £1 bikini while 'celebrating ten years of empowering women'. Pretty sure women working in their factories don't feel very empowered working for less than a minimum wage... When a brand sells bikinis for £1, you probably know there’s something wrong about them. For that price, you can’t produce a piece of garment ethically. The brand completely disregards workers’ rights and the current environmental crises by selling ultra-cheap, disposable fashion. Missguided is obviously very misguided cause in 2017, it was found that the brand had illegally used fur from cats, raccoon dogs and rabbits in the production of shoes. Does it make you feel embarased? Cause I do feel. Can't even understand how it's possible at all.
Zara’s founder, 84-year old Amancio Ortega is the 6th richest person in the world. How does that money come from? Estimated by Public Eye, on a €26.67 hoodie, the company makes €4.20 pre-tax profit, while only pays €2.09 for the garment workers. You become a billionaire and can’t pay your workers a minimum wage? This sounds really gross....
Moreover, Zara prides itself on giving consumers the ‘latest fashion trends’ every 13 days! Is it not too much? The promotion of such rapid consumption is very harmful to the planet... Don't you think that , as a global leader in retail, Zara needs to be setting the standard for sustainability? They should lead other , smaller companies for it. At least in July 2019, Zara’s parent company, Inditex, pledged that it will only use sustainable, organic, or recycled material in all of its clothing by 2025 and there is a great opportunity for them to show up themselves in the different way. Some people were skeptical of these plans and saw it as an example of greenwashing cause Zara didn’t promise to produce less clothing or slow down its manufacturing process. So, we will see how it goes...
6. River Island
In 2019 River Island had to recall clothes because they contained harmful amounts of toxic chemicals. Those chemicals can harm people who wear the clothes, and have already harmed the people who made those clothes.
River Island states it pays a living wage throughout its supply chain, but an undercover reporter revealed that the brand pays £3 per hour to its garment workers in UK
sweatshops while the minimum pay in the country is £6.45 . How about that?
Have your opinion about it? Let me know what do you think.