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Thrifting Vs. Fast Fashion

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Written by: Laila Arroyo and Andrie Magday

Over the past year, the use of Fast Fashion has been more popular than ever, but what exactly is Fast Fashion? Fast Fashion is cheap and affordable clothing that is mass-produced, usually coming in trendy and popular styles. Social media has given influence to Fast Fashion amongst our generation. In particular, TikTok, and the rise of “fit checks” or showing off outfits. Online shopping has been used more than ever since everyone was in quarantine and for back-to-school shopping. They had the option to order online to find cheap clothes for example H&M, Forever 21, and Shein.  

As many students are coming back to school, the demand for clothing rises with back-to-school shopping. Since the rise of fast fashion went through the roof during quarantine, we had a few questions for the students of Morro Bay High School about Fast Fashion and how they felt about thrifting. Thrifting is buying cheap clothes in garage sales, stores, and flea markets. When Azlyn Fitzwater was asked about her opinion on thrifting she answered with “I am a big fan of thrifting and would recommend it!” 

The interviewees were also asked what they knew about the impact Fast Fashion has on our environment, all answered with “not really or I don’t really know.” As Fast Fashion continues to climb the more waste is being created by the same companies most people buy from. As the effects of Fast Fashion are not very well put out in the public, a lot of people have no clue or have no idea how much effect it has on our environment. 

When asked about her position on Fast Fashion, Jade Hjelstrom replied that “if you need to buy cheap clothes, do it, but if you don’t there are different options like Etsy. People buy and resell from thrift stores.” A few more students were asked the same question and responded with similar responses, recommending thrifting instead of shopping online and supporting Fast Fashion and that they don’t like it and it is creating a lot of waste.

Despite knowing what effects Fast Fashion has on our environment, companies have not yet stopped or decreased the production of clothes. For example, according to the source Fast Company, H & M churns 3 billion garments a year. While GoodWill states that “it takes 400 gallons of water to produce a sufficient amount of cotton for only 1 shirt.” So when H&M decides to burn all these clothes it harms the environment because we waste millions of gallons on the making of clothes. 

As for another way of buying new clothes, Thrifting is a sustainable way to improve someone’s fashion taste. However, the effect of fast fashion is moving rapidly, people have started seeing fast fashion clothing ending up at their local thrift stores. From @imperfectidealist on Tiktok, donating clothes is a great way rather than throwing them away but also stated that 80% of clothing on thrift stores don’t get resold. Wealthy people buy clothes in unreasonable amounts. They don’t take into consideration the effects on the economy and the industry itself. As a result, most will get thrown away or be donated to charity stores (thrift stores). 

So when it comes to buying clothes from either a thrift store or going to H&M with your family, consider the consequences or the effects it has on our environment. A way of shopping for clothes that may be good for the economy is shopping or supporting small businesses, for example, Etsy. Etsy is a platform run by small businesses that focus on handmade or vintage items. 

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