Forever 21. Topshop. Zara. H&M. Urban Outfitters.
American Apparel (RIP). Reformation. Everlane. AGOLDE. Patagonia.
While you may recognize some of the names between the two paragraphs, there is a big difference between them. The first five names are fast-fashion retailers while the other five are ethical, sustainable brands.
You might be wondering “Well, why is this important?”
Fast-fashion refers to the practice of clothing companies producing clothing stock to be sold in a timely manner. This practice usually involves products being sewn in developing countries with horrible conditions and little wages for the workers.
Not only is that a major problem with the fast-fashion industry, other practices such as throwing away unsold garments and the waste accumulated during production are harmful to our environment.
The 2015 documentary film “The True Cost” directed by Andrew Morgan explores these issues within the garment industry and gives viewer an insight into who is really paying for the cost of our clothing.
If this upsets you and you would like to make a change, you have options!
Unfortunately, shopping ethically is more costly and as a college student is most likely unfeasible. Fortunately, fast fashion companies like ASOS, H&M, and Urban Outfitters have begun to produce more sustainable lines that are wallet friendly.
H&M also has an in-store initiative where customers can bring in their old clothes to recycle and receive a coupon towards their next purchase.
If you don’t want to put your money towards any of those companies anymore, your next best bet would be thrift/vintage shopping.
The clothes aren’t new which means they most likely were not manufactured in horrible conditions and you would be giving a new life to a vintage piece of clothing.
Also, trends always circle back around so you’ll already be ahead of the game.
The True Cost is available to stream on Netflix now and available to rent on the film’s website now.