BY SABINA ROONEY
Fast fashion: a term that might be relatively new to some, yet all are surrounded by it. Fast fashion is inexpensive clothing that is mass-produced to fit trends. That’s the positive thing about fast fashion: if you see a particular trend you’d like to participate in, you can get a new interesting item of clothing for cheap and they often come in multiple different colors. Websites like Shein, Forever 21, and Romwe are all good examples of fast fashion. However, there is a major issue with fast fashion brands: sustainability.
As a teenager, it is very normal to want to help the earth as much as possible, to preserve our futures. You may bring your own bags to the grocery store, or only use reusable water bottles, or maybe you even grow your own produce!
While these are very important aspects of being environmentally friendly, clothing is imperative to sustainability! As the popularity of fast fashion is growing year by year, it is important to remember why fast fashion is frowned upon by many. The truth is, the fashion industry is responsible for 8% of carbon emissions, and 93% of fast fashion brands do not pay their workers a living wage.
Something else notable about fast fashion is that the clothes often take a long time to arrive (because they are mass produced in foreign countries) and are low quality or do not match the picture used to advertise the product. Often internet influencers have found their photos being used to advertise fast fashion brands when they did not buy the clothing used to advertise the product from the company who used their photo.
By no longer supporting fast fashion, you can help not only the environment but the people making those clothes, who are underpaid and overworked in foreign countries. On the other hand, buying from thrift and consignment stores not only decreases your carbon footprint, but also gives at least minimum wage to the store’s employees.
“It’s hard for the poor to actually find clothes from thrift stores because they are upcharging now because of the trends,” says Jordyn Harris, a Masuk senior.
The textile industry is a huge contributor to carbon emissions, which affects climate change. By donating your old clothes to thrift stores, you are not only protecting the environment but also providing clothes for people who may be less fortunate than you. It is important to donate as well as to shop at thrift stores because that is what keeps them well-stocked and how waste is reduced.
If you’re reading this and getting excited about the prospect of thrift shopping, let me suggest a great place to start! Goodwill is probably the most prominent thrift store in Monroe. Located at 252 Monroe Turnpike, this store also serves as a donation center, where you can donate old clothes. Plus, you get a tax write off! What’s not to love?
“I love thrift stores because I never know what’s going to be there and it’s just a lot of fun because you’ll come across things that you won’t necessarily see on anyone else!” says Lilly Cusa, a senior at Masuk.
Goodwill has a large selection of not only clothes for women, men and children, but also things like furniture and dishes. I personally bought a mug from there, with 2 random people on it, which I enjoy the mystery of very much. Goodwill also often does sales on different items, like items with a certain color tag will be discounted that day.
While nobody is perfect, it is a good idea to try to make your life as sustainable as you can. By shopping at and donating to thrift stores, you are helping with a major global issue while also getting some fun items out of it!