Problems with FAST FASHION

We have all experienced the situation where we wanted to buy a shirt or a pair of shoes because we saw them on social media, even though we do not necessarily need them. And who can blame us? The amount of advertisements we see on social media has increased a lot. The moment we log in, we are constantly being fed with purchasable content. On top of that, we are mostly getting to see products that suit our taste since social media has access to our personal preferences.

Social media is constantly pushing purchasable content onto its audience.

Open Access Government. “Social media “influence” accelerates fast fashion culture.”

Fast Fashion and Social Media

Through social media, this phenomenon called fast fashion has become a global issue. Fast fashion occurs when clothing lines are quickly designed, advertised and sold. To classify these products as trendy, companies advertise them through runways, celebrities, influencers, and consumers as well. By using consumers and celebrities, fast fashion items can get a good reputation and popularity. That is why fast fashion companies encourage fashion hauls, where consumers buy a large number of fast fashion items to review them. Thereby, also showing how affordable these kinds of clothes are.

Its Dark Sides

Although this phenomenon may seem innocent and sufficient for modern society, it actually has negative aspects to it and has created a dark side in the industry. First of all, it led to waste and different kinds of pollution because of overconsumption. Since the life cycle of trends is getting shorter, more outdated clothing will get thrown away and most of this poor-quality clothing ends up in nature. And because some chemicals and dyes are toxic, they will contaminate the environment which in term leads to health hazards. Furthermore, since the production needs to keep up with the demands, there will be an increase in the production of gas and the usage for water. These problems are created by unnecessary consumption of what fast fashion has created, which in the end primary benefit the companies and their investors.

At last, with the “dark side” of the industry, I mend the economical abuse of workers and intellectual property theft. Since competition is high in the fast fashion industry, companies prefer cheap materials (which leads to pollution as mentioned above,) and cheap labour. Most of this cheap labour can be found in Third World countries where occupational health and safety are not respected. Workers have to work very long hours in toxic environments while getting low wages. This situation can therefore be seen as modern slavery. Furthermore, because of the constant demand for fashionable designs, there have been cases where smaller designers have their designs stolen by big companies. A recent case of this is with the painter Vanessa Bowman whose work got stolen by the fast fashion company Shein. The company duplicated Bowman’s painting of her village and sold it as a sweater without her knowledge.


Is fast fashion stoppable? My answer to this is: not really, as fast fashion provides affordable to cheap products even though it is of low quality. Meaning that this industry will still have a solid customer base after the “conscious” consumers have left. We can, however, slow this industry down by being aware of the products we chose and by asking the questions: were the processes of the production green? Were the workers treated fairly? Or by advocating against this global phenomenon and demanding occupational health and safety for Third World workers and eco-friendly products.


Das, Shanti. “‘They took my world’: fashion giant Shein accused of art theft.” The Guardian. last updated March 6, 2022.

Editorial. “How fast fashion can cut its staggering environmental impact.” Nature. Last updated September 16, 2022.

Environment News. “Social media “influence” accelerates fast fashion culture.” Open Access Government. Last updated April 22, 2022.

Hayes, Adam. “What Is Fast Fashion?” Investopedia. Last updated September 16, 2022.

Johnson, Riley. “How social media affects the fast fashion industry” Untitled. Last updated April 23, 2021.