Is fast fashion worth the price?

Across the globe, cheap clothing stores dominate the teen market offering replicas of popularly seen apparel worn by favorite celebrities. The process, as of recently, recieved backlash for the ethical and environmental standards in production. (Photo used with permission of Wikimedia Commons)

All over social media, images of celebrities in the latest Gucci or Louis Vuitton are posted to millions of teenage fans. The fueled obsession with fame influences teens and younger children on the things they buy.

Teenagers across the world all share one connecting feature: fashion. Style and clothes vary person to person, but in today’s society, the pressure to look good is at an all time high. Teens continue seeing “trendy” clothes that more often than not come with a hefty price tag.

The plethora of expensive clothes and designer brands seem out of reach for many families. The market for designer looking clothes continues to grow rapidly and out of the potential profit rises brands such as Zara, Fashion Nova and Zaful.

The basis for online stores who sell fashion “dupes” of clothing worn by celebrities, relies in cheap material and cheap labor. The companies take trending photos of outfits and within weeks can create a replica for a fraction of the original cost. Among teenagers this is extremely popular and relatively affordable. However this way of manufacturing receives lots of criticism due to the conditions in which they are made.

The majority of fast fashion brands source labor from areas where workers are underpaid, underfed and mistreated.The higher end brands source fewer employers and the payment for the job is more significant compared to a cheaper fashion brand. Workers handle chemicals such as lead, which is more common than not in the low cost clothes, and for women the risks are extreme including infertility and cancer.

Environmentally, unused garments or articles of clothing that are thrown away harbor toxic chemicals that cannot break down in the environment. According to The Good Trade, approximately eleven million tons of clothes are thrown away in the United States alone.

In addition, the hot topic of fast fashion hit the news with Kim Kardashian speaking out against brands who replicate the hard work of designers at a low cost and quicker. Kardashian spoke about how designers who may spend months or years on a design and retail it for what they feel the level of effort and quality went into creating the garment, is ripped off so easily with no credit given.

With the low price, it’s hard to argue against the companies who provide the clothes; however with so many risks and negativity surrounding the working conditions and potential environmental hazards, teens should realize where their clothes come from and make the judgement if they feel the process is ok.

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