The Lorax Crashes Paris Fashion Week

Lana Giles, Staff Writer

Fashion impacts almost everyone across the globe in one way or another. However, one aspect of the fashion industry that has controversial opinions around it is fast fashion. Student Anokhi Sheth is one of those people who has a negative view of fast fashion.

“[Fast fashion is] when big companies, for example Shein, mass-produce clothing in a third world country where it is a lot more inexpensive, and then sell them for really cheap in countries like America,” Sheth said. “The clothes aren’t even that high quality because they’re made really fast just to make a quick profit, and since they’re so cheap, they have to be made in large amounts and as quickly as possible, which is why it’s called fast fashion. It’s basically one time use clothing.”

Fashion design teacher Jessica Fisher believes that fast fashion is so big due to influencers on social media. Their opinions influence the latest trends and things go in and out of fashion according to what they promote. 

“They make things feel almost like you can wear only one time, and that makes me really sad,” Fisher said. “There are some influencers that will wear things just once, and they’re so trendy that they’ll go out really fast, like microbags, which are these teeny tiny handbags that were in for a very brief season, or certain color palettes.”

According to Sheth, fast fashion can push underprivileged countries into a cycle of poverty due to constant demand for underpaid labor. Fast fashion also uses up many resources, some of which, according to Fisher, cannot be easily thrown away. 

“Once it’s been thrown away, you can break it down and try to reuse it,” Fisher said. “But there’s so many different materials that don’t break down. Like, if there was a wool piece and a synthetic piece, they have to separate those and then turn them into something else. So it’s just a lot of energy used.”

Fast fashion can be found from stores that specialize in it, like H&M, to stores that sell it as a continuation of their catalogue, like Target. Senior Lili Castillo believes some allowances may be given if buying fast fashion.

“You just have to be really aware of your source,” Castillo said. “Where are all the resources coming from, and who’s making it, how they’re making, what are the conditions in the environment that they’re working in? That’s what’s really important when you’re looking at fast fashion. You can still have fast fashion, but it’s just not sustainable.”

Castillo suggests people creating their own clothes and shopping second hand as an alternative option to fast fashion and places that have their own fast fashion products. Sheth seconds the idea of thrifting.

I did a lot of thrifting this summer because it’s better for the planet and honestly, I think it’s more fun than regular shopping because it’s so fun when you find something cool,” Sheth said. “Also, thrift stores just have bigger varieties than regular clothes stores.”

Fisher also recommends buying investment pieces, or clothes that might cost more but last longer. That way, the potential to mix and match with other clothes or modify existing ones is there while still keeping up with fashion trends.

“The cycle continues, the styles will come back around,” Fisher said. “If I want something that’s in now, I’ll go look for it other places like Etsy or eBay or Goodwill. That’ll stop the fast fashion cycle.”