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  • Abi Terry

‘Top Ten Highstreet Brands that use Fast Fashion.’

You probably already have an understanding of which brands are better than others, however I want to help you fully understand the details of the worst brands to shop from. I have a list of ten below and have gone into detail about the top five.

So first, what is fast fashion? Fast fashion refers to brands that produce high volumes of clothing throughout the year at a fraction of the price. Consumers can buy quickly and affordably to constantly update their wardrobes. This overconsumption has led to a huge increase in textile waste, pollution and the depletion of natural resources. Which is simply NOT GOOD! However, knowing this we are still drawn in by cheap prices, which also raises a lot of human rights concerns as the conditions these workers are subjected to is awful!

How do you recognise a fast fashion brand?

Most brands release new clothing every week using a range of marketing techniques that persuade consumers to buy. These advertisements are often vague about how suppliers and products are made, and what they are doing to mitigate their environmental impact.

The companies are greenwashing you into thinking you are buying from their ‘sustainable line’ however, the facts on how sustainable it really is are being hidden (for more information look at my article ‘What is greenwashing?’). It’s safe to say it is impossible to create a garment for £5 with good manufacturing processes, sustainable practices while still paying workers fairly.

So, what are the worst brands to avoid?

Top Ten Fashion Brands to Avoid:

1. Shein – This Chinese brand quickly become popular on social media during lockdown. It is the definition fast fashion, adding new items every day to their websites at incredibly cheap prices. Not only to mention this clothing must be shipped vast distances overseas before it reaches your home. They have no clear evidence of human rights or sustainable codes.

2. Primark – Primark is one of the most well-known fast fashion brands. Firstly, SOS messages sewn into the brand’s garments by workers who are working in appalling conditions for incredibly long hours have been posted all over social media. The clothing is also clearly cheaply made and yet again, there is no clear and true evidence of how the brand is reducing its environmental impact.

3. Missguided – This company markets itself as “rapid fashion” releasing hundreds of new styles every week which clearly encourages buyers to overconsume. This led it to being named one of the least sustainable fashion brands in the UK. Also, the brand’s identity is to “empower women” but figures show that its female workers are a lot paid less than their male counterparts.

4. Zara – This is currently one of the most popular brands in the UK. Again, it often greenwashes its consumers and is not completely transparent about its workers’ rights and how it is meeting its goals to reduce the brand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Nasty Gal – This company falls into the same category as Missguided and Boohoo. This brand launched a small clothing line which may seem like it is doing the right thing, however a large majority of its clothing is made from synthetic materials and, therefore, not is sustainable.

Other brands include:

6. Urban Outfitters

7. Gap

8. Romwe

9. Victoria’s Secret

10. H&M

While this list only shows you a handful of different fast fashion brands, we are surrounded by many more. Next time you go online to buy a few things or are browsing in a store and see something you must have (only to be forgotten about in a few short weeks), think to yourself do I really need it? What journey has this item been on before it reaches your hands?

If you want to learn more about how to spot fast fashion and greenwashing head on over to my articles: What is Greenwashing? And, Get to know the Green Claim Codes.


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