The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Fast fashion: should we be concerned?

 Fast Fashion has emerged as a prominent force in the fashion business, particularly amongst today’s youth. According to poll results among Marshfield High School students, 48% of students use or have utilized fast fashion sites, most notably Shein, and this is due to the sites’ low costs, quick and easy manufacturing, trendy styles, and accessibility. 

Although these appear to be incredible benefits, they are accompanied by significant drawbacks. Why are certain businesses able to offer so many clothing products at such low prices? How do they create these goods so easily? How can they quickly transition between constantly-changing fashion trends? Is fast fashion as good or harmful as the media portrays it to be?

“I like Temu, they have affordable clothes,” says MHS graduation coach Missy Cooper. “The quality may not be there, but it’s affordable.”

It is critical to acknowledge the good sides of fast fashion, since for many individuals it is their only source of trendy or new clothing at all. Fast fashion is accessible and inexpensive because businesses may offer their items at a low price, allowing children from low-income households to wear garments that show their style without spending a fortune. Fast fashion has a huge selection of outfits from almost every aesthetic or style; they can study the media and generate a plethora of those items as a new trend emerges. Trends shift almost constantly, and fast fashion businesses recognize and capitalize on this.  They make replicas of catwalk fashion and what the new social media trend is and make hundreds of thousands of these items selling them for cheap.

“I tend to stay away from fast fashion like Shein and Temu because they’re known for using sweatshops and forced labor,” said Maddie Cook, a MHS junior. “I also feel like I see a lot of the same clothes on people from these sites, I’d prefer to go to a thrift store if I’m needing a cheap alternative.” 

The number one reason individuals buy from these sites is because of their financial situation; many people do not have enough money to buy from luxury labels or even famous names, so relying on these sites for inexpensive and on-trend goods is often necessary. When you access these sites, you will find free products and only have to pay postage for shirts that are five dollars. This means you may get approximately five articles of clothing for the price of one brand-named item.

“My opinion on Shein is that it’s bad because of child labor,” said Gio Ramirez, a North Bend High School student. “They put kids to work and they don’t get paid; plus they have bad material.”

Fast fashion sites such as Shein are under investigation for forced labor, and are being accused of violating the 2021 Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, or UFLPA. Other fast fashion sites, such as Temu, are also currently under investigation. Before Temu was available for consumers there was another site called Pinduoduo and was accused of Malware. It was bypassing users’ cell phone security to monitor activities on other apps, check notifications, read private messages and change settings And once installed, it was difficult to delete. Since these accusations, Google has suspended the app from Appstore and Playstore. Pinduoduo and Temu are made by the same company so there are currently theories that Temu may be placing malware onto user’s devices, as well. 

So whether or not using fast fashion sites, or shopping via tried-and-true, trusted websites, always be vigilant when shopping online. Personal data breaches are common nowadays. Sometimes, there is nothing that can stop them, but take steps to protect yourself from unnecessary risks when shopping online.

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About the Contributor
Lorelei Moon
Lorelei Moon, Assistant Copy Editor
Sophomore Lorelei Moon is proceeding with her second year at the Marshfield Times. During school days she spends most of her time studying and taking care of her little sister. Her hobbies include; baking, listening to audio books about Buddhism and feminism, crocheting, playing the guitar, reading books, painting, yoga, meditating, taking walks in the forest, and volunteering at animal shelters. She is an intern at Rouge Climate Center and plans to pursue a career in animal rehabilitation and/or forensic science.
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