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The Price of Fast Fashion - article.pdf - The Price of Fast...

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The Price of Fast FashionSocial media is driving young people to buy more cheap clothes than ever—but there are hidden costsSEPTEMBER 20, 2021By Chrisanne GriséChelsey Christina studied fashion design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Attending theschool made her feel a lot of pressure to look stylish. She often shopped for new clothes at stores such asZara and Urban Outfitters. And she spent a lot of time thinking about how the latest tops and pants would addto her social media feed.“You don’t want to post twice in the same outfit,” says Christina, now 23, “so you’d feel like you always neededsomething new.”This is a common issue for young people. Scroll through Instagram’s and TikTok’s “outfit of the day” hashtags,and you’ll find millions of posts on the newest fashions. These posts feature everything from eye-catchingshirts to the hottest sneaker designs. The daily stream has many teens always hunting for deals on the trendylooks that pop up on their feeds.via Twitter (Kylie Jenner); via TikTok (La’Ron Hines)
Kylie Jenner (left) is one of many celebrities who have contributed to the craze around fast fashion by postingon social media. La’Ron Hines (right), a TikTok star, has also promoted fast fashion online.Some fashion companies have become very successful by catering to this market. They produce clothing veryquickly and sell it at cheap prices that can fit in young people’s budgets. This trend—known as ultra-fastfashion—is not without its costs. Consumers may not consider how the workers who make the clothing aretreated. And mass-producing disposable duds has a major impact on the environment.“This is not just an issue for fashionistas, for shopaholics, for people who buy too much stuff,” says ElizabethCline, author of The Conscious Closet. “Everybody wears clothes. . . .This is something we should all careabout.”The idea of manufacturing clothes quickly and cheaply isn’t new. Chains such as H&M and Zara popularizedfast fashion in the early 2000s. And they did so without the “ultra” element.Fast fashion is designed to be cheap. That’s because companies want shoppers to buy a constant stream ofnew outfits. And many people are doing just that. The average consumer buys 60 percent more clothing todaythan 15 years ago, according to a 2019 report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

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