Runway to Rubbish | Sophia Larson

Runway to Rubbish

By Sophia Larson

All my life, I have shopped at stores like Forever 21 and H&M, ignoring the effects of my purchases. To put it simply, fast fashion is harmful,  especially for the environment and for the people working at factories for these stores. Fast fashion is defined as the mass production of the latest trendy clothing, straight from the runway and straight to the garbage. However, what gets hidden from the public is the disregard for the environment and for labor laws. 

According to the New York Times article, “How Fast Fashion is Destroying the Planet,” it there are dire impacts of the fast fashion industry that ultimately damage the environment: “[m]ore than 60 percent of fabric fibers are now synthetics, derived from fossil fuels, so if and when our clothing ends up in a landfill… it will not decay. Nor will the synthetic microfibers that end up in the sea, freshwater and elsewhere…” Along with the effects of synthetic fabrics, unethical labor laws are being implemented by fast fashion brands. In the same article, it is \explained: “…there are immigrant workers in Los Angeles today who are victims of wage theft and exploitation, not to mention the Bangladeshi, Chinese, Vietnamese and other laborers who face working conditions that are at best grim and at worst inhumane.” 

On September 29th, Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy due to its over-ambitious growth. With reports of the store’s detrimental impact coming to light, hopefully consumers will turn away from fast fashion in attempts to be more sustainable for the environment.