September 30, 2023

Fast fashion is so last season

SHIEN and ROMWE are two online stores that are guilty of something called “fast fashion,” but many people don’t even know what that means.

Fast fashion is clothing produced rapidly in mass quantities in response to whatever is the newest trend. These clothes go out of style very quickly and the extra items end up going to landfills or donation zones.

The reason fast fashion is called “fast fashion” is because of how quickly the items go from production into stores. The three things that indicate a piece of clothing is fast fashion is if an item is inexpensive, trendy and poorly made. 

Fast fashion is a marketing method that is used to get people to buy more of a company’s clothing, but it has really toxic and dangerous effects on the planet. 

Prior to this article, the Chimes put out a poll on their Instagram asking people if they have ever shopped at SHEIN, ROMWE, both or neither.

An Instagram poll asking people if they have ever purchased from SHEIN or Romwe. Photo taken by Kevin Capron.

Out of the 43 people who voted, 16 people said they had bought from SHEIN, one person said they had bought from ROMWE, three people said they had bought from both and 23 people said they had not bought from either. 

In a separate poll that asked if people knew what fast fashion was, 35 out of 46 people said they did and 11 said they had never heard of it. 

An Instagram poll asking if students know what fast fashion is. Photo taken by Kevin Capron.

Clothes that you get rid of end up in landfills or donation stores like Goodwill. But, stores like Goodwill that are donation-based get so many donations each day that if things have been on the shelves long enough without selling, they get rid of them just like any department store. 

According to “The True Cost of Fast Fashion” by Zoe McKnight, SHEIN makes the majority of its clothes from materials like polyester, which take on average 20-200 years to decompose. SHIEN says they use as many recycled materials as they can afford, but a company that makes millions of dollars every year should be able to afford so much more than the bare minimum of sustainable materials. 

SHIEN’s clothing is a main contributor to fast fashion and the clothing they sell is not made of anything that will decompose anytime soon.

Understandably, some people shop at SHEIN and ROMWE because these are the only stores in their budget. According to “Why Sustainable Products Are More Expensive (And How To Save Money),” some sustainable products can be more expensive because the raw materials necessary to be environmentally friendly are more costly. 

All these companies bring in billions every year and put the blame on the individual consumer for how their product affects the environment. 

Companies that make billions should use their profits to pay their employees good wages and use sustainable materials, yet they continue to harm the environment without remorse.


  • Sophie Makhoul

    Sophie is a junior History and Education major. In her free time, she likes to cuddle with her cat, read books and write new stories.

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