Fast Fashions Failure To Be Ethical
Have you ever wanted a piece of clothing, jewelry, shoes, or bags but decided against getting them for one reason or another? Usually it’s too expensive, right? So what do you do? Do you save up the money or do you find something similar for less? Typically consumers go for a more affordable option. They have been doing this for years. Especially if what they want is a piece that is trendy and to be on trend they need to buy new things more frequently. This leads people to purchase from fast fashion brands like H&M, Zara, Shein, Amazon, etc. But what does this mean for brands, consumers and what they are buying?
Due to social media’s heavy influence on trends, the trend cycle changes every few months. This means that consumers are buying clothes, shoes, and all things of that nature more often. They want to dress with the times and to manage the increase in purchases they buy cheaper, lower quality “dupes”. What is a “dupe”, you may ask, a product almost identical to another but typically less expensive. For years people have been buying dupes for makeup and clothes and no one thinks much about the ethics behind this, unfortunately.
By buying clothes that cost less money, typically they are lower in quality and this usually means that the workers who are hired to manufacture these items are not being paid fair wages. In addition, the working conditions could be harmful and the products can end up being compromised like in Shein‘s case. If you haven’t already heard about the issues with them check out the article we wrote about it. They are not only harming their employees but their customers.
This idea to have a dupe of expensive items has led to a culture of original designs created by independent and sustainable brands being copied by fast fashion brands. An example of this situation involves the independent brand, Mirror Palais. A ready-to-wear, sustainable fashion brand founded in New York City in 2019 has been having their designs stolen. Their pieces have reached a wide audience and the designs are adored by many. However, they are expensive because they are made in New York City and their workers are given fair wages. Due to the demand and high cost of the articles, many brands have stolen their designs and are manufacturing dupes for a fraction of the price. This theft of intellectual property has led to original creators receiving less business which helps they further creating and innovating. They are not being credited for the designs and they’re seeing their work being devalued by the public. In addition to that, it’s especially difficult to try and copyright the designs for clothing, jewelry, shoes and bags.
Tiktok has further perpetuated the idea of dupes through recommendations and sponsorships. This means consumers are overall spending more money, fast fashion is making more money, original creators are making less and there ends up being more pollution. The more trends, the more designs, the more clothes, the more trash.
The only way to help is to shop from original creators and invest in items you will use for years and years. Buying quality products means spending less money overall and creates a wardrobe full of clothes that you love. The public can slow the trends down but consumers need to start the change by buying ethically. Deciding on their personal style and ignoring trends, investing in quality goods and promoting creative and ethical companies will lead to a huge impact, ethically, economically and environmentally. What are your thoughts on the ethics of fashion? What are the sustainable and independent brands that you love? Let us know on our social media platforms.