Colton’s Couture: The truth about fast fashion

It’s Thursday night and you are ready for the week to be over – it’s been long and dreadful. You have an 8:30 class the next day, but you are itching for a night out with your friends. You decide to go out to an overrated house party or to the local bar to relieve some stress, despite knowing you will regret it the next morning.

Most of us have been there.

After your last class on Thursday, you quickly wonder what you will wear that night and mentally put together a stunning outfit in your head, only to realize you don’t own any of the pieces you wish to wear.

Believe me, I’ve been there, and I know many of you have been there as well.

As you come to the realization that you don’t have the perfect outfit, you rush to the mall with your friends where you enter stores such as Forever21, Charlotte Russe, American Eagle or even good old Aeropostale, may it soon rest in peace.

These stores, as well as many others in the mall, are well known for being labeled as fast fashion retailers.

Fast fashion is a term used by the fashion industry to express the current fashion trends that were previously on the catwalk and quickly made their way into stores. Fast fashion clothing collections are often based on the most recent trends presented at Fashion Week in spring and fall. The goal of fast fashion is to get trends designed and manufactured quickly, but most importantly – inexpensively. This allows consumers to buy the current trends at a low cost to wear garments once or twice and then discard them, either by choice or due to cheap quality.

Fast fashion may be great, especially when it comes to Thursday nights when you are in need of a new outfit that will be sure to stand out, but in reality, it’s causing major problems for the environment and even young women.

According to Forbes Magazine, fast fashion disempowers women. It traps a generation of young women into poverty. Seventy-five million people are making clothing with 80 percent of them being women who are 18 to 24 years old. It takes one garment worker 18 months to earn what a fashion brand CEO makes in half an hour.

A majority of garment workers earn less than $3 per day and most of them are underage, working an average of 14 hours a day in sweatshop-like environments. To add to this, many of them experience sexual harassment, according to Forbes.

As for the environment, over 12.8 million tons of clothing end up in landfills in the United States each year due to the fact that fast fashion clothing is made to be replaced quickly and cannot be donated, as the garments often fall apart. In landfills, clothing sits for 200 years, leaving toxic chemicals and dyes to contaminate the soil and groundwater, according to Forbes.

Even though you think you need to have the perfect outfit for your “unforgettable” Thursday night, just think – you most likely have something in your closet you can wear.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m always ready for a trip to the mall, but sometimes quality is much better than quantity.

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