fast fashion brands to avoid

10 Fast Fashion brands to avoid (and why)

Love Island has announced that they’re ditching fast fashion for season 8 and instead, they’re opting for second-hand clothing. This is fantastic news since fast fashion relies on wasteful practices that harm the environment and the exploitation of factory workers! Is this news to you? Well if so, here are 10 fast fashion brands to avoid.

Shein

Shein adds hundreds of items to its site daily to keep up with the current trends. This means that older items are wasted on a massive scale. This system also promotes people to buy into trends and throw away ‘outdated’ clothing. In terms of labour, Shein is not very transparent about the working conditions of its factory employees.

ASOS

Despite mainly selling other brands, ASOS does have its own range. Their range uses some eco-friendly materials, however, they still cause huge amounts of textile waste. ASOS is slightly more transparent than Shein about labour, but there is no evidence that they pay a living wage.

Fast Fashion brands - asos
Source: Canva

Boohoo

Boohoo made headlines in 2021 for its violations of workers’ rights and poor working conditions. Factory inspections are few and far between, so workers are often paid illegal wages. Although their clothes are cheap, they come at a high ethical cost. This is definitely worth considering next time you want to make an order.

Zara

Although Zara has banned fur and animal testing in their products, they still use wool, leather, down, and exotic animal hair. Zara chooses to make a profit over ethical working conditions. Workspaces are extremely cramped and factories release toxic chemicals into the environment.

PrettyLittleThing

PrettyLittleThing is another brand that fails to pay its workers an ethical wage. They are not transparent about how and where they source their leather and wool products. They also use polyester rather than sustainable materials. Polyester is particularly bad for the environment because it contains micro-plastics, which then end up in the ocean. In fact, it is estimated that there are a staggering 24.4 trillion pieces of microplastics in the world’s oceans (and a lot of them come from clothes.)

Fast Fashion brands - PLT
Source: Canva

Gap

Unlike other brands, Gap has made some relatively conscious efforts in their sustainability campaigns. For example, they have reduced the amount of water wastage in their denim products. However, there are not enough health and safety measures in place for workers. Again, it cannot be guaranteed that workers are paid a living wage.

Primark

Primark is a high-street staple in the UK due to its cheap clothing, but it’s worth considering why these clothes are so affordable. For example, they are not made of sustainable materials, which means they don’t last very long. Furthermore, Primark made the headlines when customers found ‘SOS’ notes in their clothing. These notes claimed that factory employees were working 15-hour days.

H&M

Although H&M pledged to use 100% recycled materials by 2030, most of its products are currently not eco-friendly. H&M overproduce their products to keep up with trends which is why it’s on our list of fast fashion brands to avoid.  Unsold products are burned, releasing harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.

Fast Fashion brands - H&M
Source: Canva

Missguided

Like Shein, Missguided adds hundreds of new styles every week to keep up with the current trends. This leads to over-consumption and huge amounts of wasted textiles. Workers are not guaranteed a living wage, and female employees are paid significantly less than male employees.

Topshop

Shoppers were outraged when Topshop’s owner avoided paying hundreds of millions in taxes. Despite this, he failed to pay his workers a living wage. Topshop also makes no efforts to reduce water and textile wastage or cut down on the harmful chemicals released into the environment.

Fast Fashion brands - Topshop
Source: Canva

Remember that although fast fashion is affordable and easily accessible, it’s probably time to start cutting back on shopping from these brands. Instead, we can all make a conscious effort to be more sustainable. Buying second-hand clothes or shopping at small businesses is much better for the environment. Check out the 10 best vintage shops in Brighton for some inspiration on where to go.

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