Recently, sustainable fashion has become popularized, specifically for young people. Sustainable fashion is the process of reducing emissions created from the fashion industry. More thrift businesses are popping up, people are thrifting more often, and all this has even resulted in some big retail chains closing down or filing for bankruptcy such as Forever 21. However, although there are many benefits to shopping sustainably, there are also some downsides that most have turned a blind eye to.
First of all, many of those who shop sustainably began to look down upon those who shop fast fashion, and they sometimes approach the topic aggressively. This makes shopping sustainably look like something pretentious when the whole point is to help better our planet. It seems to have strayed from its original intention and become nothing more than a trend.
Second, as a result of thrifting becoming more and more commonplace, people have begun to open up Depop and Poshmark accounts—both being websites to sell used items—to purchase clothing from thrift stores at a cheaper price and upsell them on these sites at a higher cost. This, in return, directly impacts lower-income communities and those of lesser privilege who genuinely cannot afford to buy new items and therefore rely on thrift stores. The more people that buy used items, the more prices will be raised on secondhand clothes. In the end, the people who really need to shop secondhand can no longer afford to do so because people decided to make it a trend.
Furthermore, since thrift store prices are going up, fast fashion prices have begun to go down as these retail chains attempt to save their businesses. Websites such as Shein, Romwe and Aliexpress have become more popular as their options are incredibly cheap. Although fast fashion clothes are made unethically, as most are produced in sweatshops, this is starting to become the only option that lower-income communities have to afford decent clothing.
Trendsetters have demonized fast fashion when some lesser privileged people now rely on them and have simultaneously taken away what used to be lesser privileged people’s main source of clothing. All in all, the sustainable fashion trend has become more harmful than beneficial and has strayed far from what the original intention was. All of this directly impacts disadvantaged communities and boosts those of the higher economic class. Therefore, while fast fashion has its problematic traits, I defend it because it is now one of the only affordable options for whomever genuinely cannot keep up with this sustainable fashion trend while sustainable fashion has only harmed those individuals.