For todays blog post, I wanted to compile a list of fast fashion brands to avoid. I feel like the process of switching out old, fast fashion brands for newer ones that are sustainable can be really tricky. I’m hoping that by writing out a list of 5 places to avoid, you will have an easier time navigating the fast fashion industry going forward.
Shein: This is probably one of the worst fast fashion brands that is extremely popular right now. If you don’t know what Shein is, it’s a clothing website that sells products for extremely low prices while exploiting workers. To make matters worse, in 2022 people found out that the company was paying its workers a roughly estimated $18 a day. That is nowhere near a livable wage. Besides these issues, Shein is also problematic in the sense that it sells insensitive and harmful products (for example, they released a necklace with a swastika pendant on it a few years back).
Forever 21: I’m sure everyone knows of Forever 21 by now since it’s been around for awhile. They are another brand that prides themselves on not using child labor and having fair practices, yet when an investigation was done on one of their factories, it came out that workers were being paid $4 per hour. The material that is used to make clothing for this store is also extremely cheap and of poor quality.
Uniqlo: This is a Japanese brand that has several stores all around the U.S, as well as an online shop that customers can visit and order from. While the company may provide good basics for a relatively cheap price, they have other issues that put them on this list. In 2016, Uniqlo was expecting its workers to work “excessive overtime” with no major financial compensation. They have also had labor right violations in the past.
Victoria’s Secret: This is another company that isn’t great when it comes to fast fashion. Victoria’s Secret has had many allegations come out about it in the past. For example, there was a lawsuit against the company for using formaldehyde in their bras, leaving many customers with skin reactions. They also have many ethical issues, such as sexually harassing their runway models in the past and being transphobic.
Urban Outfitters: UO is super popular among teenagers and young adults. While they do come across as an ethical brand because of their reworked pieces and dedication to sustainability, most of it is a facade. Urban Outfitters has been known to ask their employees to work without compensation on the weekends. Additionally, a lot of the fabrics and materials they use are synthetic, meaning they won’t be broken down well over time.
These are just a few of the most shopped at fast fashion companies that exist. If there’s any others you can think of, be sure to leave them below in the comments for others!