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What is Fast Fashion?

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You may have heard of brands such as Shein, H&M, Zara, and GAP. You might have seen them online, on ads, or even popping up on your feed. However, there is something that all of these brands have in common, they are Fast Fashion Brands.

No, fast fashion is not clothes that are strapped onto a fast car and driven around a Formula one track or fancy clothes that are delivered to your doorstep with the click of a button, but it is clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers. Fast fashion is often known as disposable fashion, and the workers are underpaid and are in a terrible work environment. Fast fashion is responsible for forced and child labor in countries like Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

People like us sadly support fast fashion. Even buying something from Shein or H&M might seem harmless because their clothes are trendy and affordable. However, it’s essential to understand the hidden costs behind these bargains. When you buy from fast fashion brands, you unknowingly contribute to a cycle of environmental degradation and usage of workers. The rapid production of cheap clothing leads to excessive waste, as these clothes often end up in landfills after just a few wears, contributing to pollution and climate change.

But the good news is that there are alternatives to fast fashion. Many sustainable and ethical clothing brands prioritize fair wages, safe working conditions, and eco-friendly production methods. Brands like Patagonia, Nike, Kathmandu, and New Balance are committed to reducing their environmental impact and ensuring fair treatment of workers in their supply chains. By supporting these brands, you not only make a positive difference in the fashion industry but also send a powerful message that you value both people and the planet.

Another way to stop supporting Fast Fashion Brands is to reuse clothes. Opp-shops, Trade-me, Thrift Stores, and older siblings, have used clothes that you can once again use. This idea is sustainable and a way that we can stop throwing out our clothes. Making your own clothes is another great option to keep it sustainable, and also have some fun experimenting with colors and textures.

It’s important to remember that as consumers, we have the power to influence the fashion industry’s practices. By making informed choices and supporting ethical and sustainable brands, we can help create a fashion industry that is kinder to the environment and respects the rights and well-being of all workers. So, the next time you shop for clothes, consider the impact of your choices and explore brands that are sustainable, making fashion a force for good in the world.


  • List three ways that you can stop buying from Fast Fashion brands?
  • Do you agree/disagree with Fast Fashion, why?
  • Brainstorm 5 things that you already do that reduces Fast Fashion.
  • Talk with a partner and discuss 5 places that you can buy from that don’t use Fast Fashion.
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