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People’s average annual clothing consumption has been mind-boggling more than four hundred percent since the nineties, and the average American generates 82 pounds of unwanted textiles yearly. Even though we purchase more clothing than at any other time in history, we do not wear it nearly as frequently. The rapid rise of fast fashion over the preceding two decades is the primary factor contributing to this phenomenon. With that said, this article will be about 22 fast fashion brands to avoid, and some FAQs as well.
What Does Fast Fashion Mean?
Fast fashion brands make several things that are subsequently sold. Businesses may be able to create things cheaper than before. Consumers can make quick, cheap closet changes. Overbuying low-quality clothing increases textile waste, pollution, and natural resource depletion. Human rights breaches and other problems are revealed. We should check fast fashion brands to avoid as potential clients. Instead of rapid fashion merchants, we may buy from sustainable fashion companies.
22 Fast Fashion Brands You Should Be Avoiding
Now that we all know what a fast fashion brand is, it’s time to let everyone know that company brands offer this kind of clothing release. Below are some of the most well-known fast fashion brand companies on the market.
Shein gained over 20 million Instagram followers and surged on the global stage. Daily, it adds 500 low-cost goods to its website. This adds to the environmental damage caused by fast fashion’s “throwaway culture.” Shein shows no evidence of reducing its environmental impact. The corporation is secretive regarding its supply chain and where its products are made.
Shein says it pays more than industry standard and never uses coerced or underage labor. Since the company’s products are so cheap, it’s hard to envisage fair pay. In 2020, the company sold Islamic prayer mats and swastika jewelry.
Mango is in 110 countries. This brand has taken environmental steps. Organic cotton and regenerated polyester have replaced toxic PFCs in apparel production. Mango has revealed its greenhouse gas emissions but has not set a reduction goal.
It has been unclear about building manufacturing and reducing pollution. The corporation opposes paying minimum-wage workers “the legal minimum, not the proposed wage level.” they should adequately compensate Mango’s garment workers. They hid the company’s contribution to a compensation fund for relatives of the 1,134 garment workers killed in the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.
You should avoid H&M. In 2018, the firm underpaid 850,000 garment employees. Many women face sexual and physical violence. H&M hasn’t stopped this in its factories. The brand was accused of ignoring 100 garment workers who died in horrific conditions.
Does sustainability outweigh H&M’s ethics? PFCs, phthalates, and APs/APEOs were eliminated. 35% of clothing is recycled. The company might minimize emissions. H&M shouldn’t burn unsold clothes.
Boohoo is a British clothes shop. The corporation makes high-quality products but doesn’t help consumers or the environment. They will release the company’s factory list, purchasing strategy, and community support plan in 2021. Boohoo!
The Sunday Times said Leicester workers made $3.50 per hour. It’s low. Company policy required COVID-19 personnel to report to work and recommended hand washing as a preventative. Environmental Audit Committee says boohoo isn’t a sustainable clothing brand. Low-quality product sellers should expect this.
5. Forever 21
Forever 21’s low costs come with social and environmental costs. On its Social Responsibility page, Forever 21 declares it opposes child and forced labor. Does this mean the corporation uses dangerous methods? US Department of Labor investigators found that Los Angeles workers were paid as little as $4 per hour, well below the legal minimum wage.
Forever 21 refuses to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord to show employees’ worries. This brand’s manufacturing location and method are unknown. We don’t know if it’s taking steps to reduce environmental damage. Forever 21 was accused of body-shaming after distributing diet bars to plus-size customers.
6. Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters is a 50-year-old clothing retailer. Should we buy it there? Urban Outfitters doesn’t give any details about what it’s doing to protect the environment, perhaps because it’s doing nothing! The brand’s supply chain and locations are secret.
Unproven is the company’s fair pay. Urban Outfitters called its 2015 request for weekend volunteer work a “great team-building activity.” The company stole an indigenous Australian artist’s work in 2020 to sell outdoor rugs.
Primark is a top European store. Outsourcing production limits the company’s control over garment employees’ living and working conditions. Primark claims its suppliers must follow a Code of Conduct, but there’s no record of annual pay or safe working conditions. Primark garments feature hidden “SOS” notes.
15-hour days were “inhumane,” they said. Primark is transparent about its manufacturers but might be more. The company donates unsold clothing to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Unknown are Primark’s green initiatives. It must improve mitigation.
UK-based Missguided sells “fast fashion.” One thousand new clothes are released weekly. Missguided encourages wasteful consumption. The corporation appears to be doing nothing to decrease its environmental impact outside vague CSR pronouncements. Missguided and Boohoo are the UK’s most minor sustainable brands.
Despite the brand’s mission to help women, female employees make less and get fewer bonuses. Unsure if they’re compensated fairly. The company was caught selling “faux fur” items with actual cat, raccoon dog, mink, and rabbit fur in 2017.
9. Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret is a famous U.S. lingerie manufacturer. The business signed Greenpeace’s “Detox my Fashion” campaign to remove all toxic chemicals by 2020. We can’t say if they met the brand’s goals. It hasn’t taken steps to reduce its environmental impact, and its products are made from nonrenewable resources.
Victoria’s Secret’s reputation isn’t improving. Because formal labor standards don’t verify its supply chain, we can’t be sure garment workers are paid correctly and treated responsibly. Ten years after a child labor scandal, the brand is in another. Two top executives allegedly sexually abused many models, and those who came out were sacked.
Zara, one of India’s successful brands, is Spanish. Although the company is committed to sustainability by recycling textiles and packaging, it does not reveal the number of resources required to make its apparel. The unknown is whether it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Zara’s supply chain is more transparent than rivals also. They disclosed some of the company’s supply chain partners.
It assesses subcontractors to verify if they follow its Code of Conduct, but the results aren’t public. The company underpays garment workers. In 2017, shoppers in Istanbul, Turkey, found secret messages in Zara clothes. Clothing sector workers say they were compelled to work for free after Zara’s factory went bankrupt.
11. Brandy Melville
1980s Italian apparel label Brandy Melville. It launched in 2009 and is a teen favorite. This brand’s sizing is odd. Brandy Melville sells XS and S as “one size fits most.” Many young women feel unattractive and are pressured to diet to meet the brand’s ideal of a woman. They should ban body-shaming advertising.
Brandy Melville isn’t an ethical company that cares about the environment. They fired some workers after a haircut or weight gain. “they won’t hire you in a Brandy store if you’re black,” others said, implying that appearances impacted salaries.
Garage has around 230 outlets throughout North America. The brand might be more transparent about how and where its items are created, and the factories involved. Garage’s supplier code of conduct is straightforward and stipulates that factories must follow legal working hours, wages, and overtime pay.
Developing countries without these regulations may not respect employees’ rights. Considering how cheap the brand’s items are, it’s likely. Garage’s clothes use many unsustainable synthetic fibers. The company’s “sustainable denim” line uses organic cotton. The fabric is just 25% organic cotton, though. Better, Garage!
YesStyle sells clothes, beauty, and home goods from well-known Asian brands. YesStyle lacks transparency. Each of us has a right to know where our purchases come from. The corporation doesn’t disclose its manufacturing process, supplier chain, or location.
YesStyle doesn’t appear to be trying to reduce its environmental impact or greenhouse gas emissions. YesStyle doesn’t seem to have a code of conduct for brands or their suppliers. Consumers can’t be sure these brands deliver decent wages and safe working conditions. Several clients received misshapen and filthy clothes. YesStyle’s low costs likely reflect its poor quality.
Fast-fashion firm Romwe pushes clients to “discover new goods you didn’t need,” This comment says much about the brand’s excess culture. Romwe’s business model is unethical and unsustainable because it depends on customers spending more money. I doubt the designers get paid enough because of how cheap the outfits are.
Size disparities, slow shipment, and cheaply made clothes have long dissatisfied customers. Romwe’s customer service is horrible, and returns are difficult. The company offered animal fur as cruelty-free, vegan “faux fur.” Romwe doesn’t appear to reduce environmental impact.
15. Nasty Gal
Nasty Gal is a Los Angeles-based store that sells affordable but stylish apparel for young ladies. Nasty Gal’s synthetic garments make its (limited) sustainable range seem tiny. Nasty Gal has a mysterious supply chain.
The brand promised to provide manufacturing locations and procurement practices in 2021. Why wait? We don’t know if its workers are paid and treated well. Four Nasty Gal employees claimed the company unlawfully terminated them during maternity leave in 2015. The company’s toxic workplace has drawn criticism.
16. Fashion Nova
In 2018, Google’s most-searched brand was Fashion Nova. Instagram superstars and influencers helped spread the trend. According to the 2021 fashion transparency index, the brand is one of the least transparent. This company’s business model is unsustainable.
Fashion Nova adds 600 new goods weekly, prompting shoppers to spend more. Most of its clothing is made of polyester, acrylic, and nylon. This brand is also accused of working with low-wage factories in Los Angeles. Some hourly salaries were $2.77. Others said they worked in awful circumstances with bugs and rats.
17. American Eagle
American Eagle was founded in 1977 and had over a thousand locations worldwide. Organic jeans indicate the company’s attempts to reduce its environmental impact. The company has room to grow. This brand aspires to be carbon neutral by 2030 but provides no details. Remake’s second annual accountability report in 2021 was dismal.
American Eagle only offers plus-size products online, not in stores. I won’t shop there because of their discriminatory policy. The firm uses sandblasting in Chinese factories to make jeans; this can lead to silicosis, a lethal lung condition.
18. Abercrombie & Fitch
130-year-old Abercrombie & Fitch is popular among teens. Customers should be treated honestly. Abercrombie & Fitch issued a list of its manufacturers but no third-party audits to check labor conditions. It’s doubtful that worker rights are honored since the corporation didn’t join the 2021 Bangladesh Accord.
Many oppose the company’s sexist and body-shaming policies. Abercrombie & Fitch discontinued XL and XXL. CEO Mike Jeffries said the organization “hires good-looking people” Abercrombie & Fitch has taken environmental efforts, yet most of their products contain synthetic fibers. It needs work.
19. Old Navy
Old Navy has 1,000 stores globally. Old Navy was accused of recruiting 12-year-olds in 2013. One factory fired or pushed pregnant women to work 100 hours a week. Old Navy’s supply chain is unregulated, so it’s hard to tell if unethical behaviors have stopped. They showed 49% transparency in 2021 fashion.
Better than quick fashion, but not quite. Old Navy should disclose its manufacturing process. Old Navy’s latest denim originates from eco-friendly factories. The apparel sector uses synthetic fibers, so the company should decrease its environmental impact.
Gap is the fourth-largest clothing retailer. Owns Athleta, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. Gap doesn’t offer a living wage or safe working conditions. The corporation has been accused of child labor since its founding.
Gap wouldn’t reveal its ingredients. The brand’s sustainable materials claims are dubiously uncertain regarding the 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal. Gap’s stillness indicates failure. Probably! Gap paid $200,000 in 2021 for breaking anti-spam legislation. These products are flawed.
Japan’s Uniqlo has nearly 2,300 outlets worldwide. The company has violated worker and human rights. Uniqlo factories have extended hours and minimal pay. A former Uniqlo employee alleges they pushed employees to fold seven shirts per minute, work 18-hour days, and all suffered from PTSD owing to the company’s bullying culture.
Fears that they created Uniqlo shirts with forced labor in Xinjiang, China, led to their prohibition in 2021. Despite recycling and eco-friendly materials, Uniqlo isn’t sustainable. The company is environmentalist-free.
Avoid ASOS-owned Topshop. Topshop owner Philip Green dodged taxes in 2010, prompting protests. Despite Philip Green’s £4.3 billion net worth in 2016, Topshop cleaners alleged they were paid below the London living wage.
Mistreatment occurred when workers demanded fair pay. Topshop’s eco-friendly range includes vegan sneakers. The company hasn’t limited water use, hazardous chemicals, or greenhouse gas emissions. The company’s unsustainable and immoral business tactics make stylish items inexpensive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Why is fast fashion bad?
Fast fashion statistics show the industry’s excessive consumption, mass production, worker exploitation, and waste. Fast fashion companies adopt unsustainable business tactics to meet consumer demand for cheap, trendy clothing.
Fast fashion corporations use cheap labor in countries with weak worker rights and safety regulations to meet low-cost client demands. Due to inadequate environmental regulations, cheap fabrics in these countries may contain harmful chemicals and dyes. These stylish garments are disposable. The garments wear out quickly, bringing shoppers back to buy the current styles. Most fast fashion is constructed from non-biodegradable synthetics. The fashion industry’s excessive consumption degrades the environment.
2. In what ways is fast fashion destroying the planet?
The fast fashion sector significantly influences the environment because of its excessive consumption and trash. More than 8% of global climate impact is attributed to the garment and footwear industries. This is more than the contribution of all international airline trips combined.
3. How much do fast fashion workers make?
In a word, no. An overwhelming majority of fast fashion companies, 93% to be exact, are not providing a living wage to their garment workers, according to a poll conducted by 2020 Fashion Checker. Most of these employees are women.
Manufacturing facilities for fast fashion are typically situated in third-world nations because of the availability of low-cost labor with few protections for the workers. The industry frequently moves operations to low-wage countries.
Many rapid fashion companies promote disposable clothing. Their business method is unethical and will eventually collapse under its weight. They are pumping out an excessive quantity of low-quality clothing at rock-bottom costs, driving consumer demand and resulting in a corresponding increase in clothing waste.
Brands that use child labor endanger the lives of their employees and have a devastating effect on the environment. Thankfully, we are not obligated to approve of such actions. Instead of supporting exploitative fast fashion companies, we should look for more environmentally friendly and socially responsible alternatives, shop secondhand, and appreciate the garments we currently own.
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