The Growth of Fast Fashion Through Social Media


From trends, to styles, to purchases, social media affects many people’s day to day life, especially when it comes to what they wear. Unsustainable fashion brands shape their clothes around what’s popular and what people will buy, that being so, social media often promotes it.

Fast fashion is a term used for unsustainable fashion brands that mass-produce clothes at a low cost. These brands are often affordable and trendy, however that does not mean you should buy from them. The clothes are made in factories that have poor conditions for workers. They also have a negative impact on the environment, according to Business Insider, 10% of all global carbon emissions are produced by the fast fashion industry. Brands such as Shein, Topshop, Forever 21 and more are all popular fast fashion companies.

People are naturally drawn to these brands due to the products being so cheap and trendy and social media influencers are no exception. Influencers are commonly seen wearing these clothes and because they have a large audience, it surely contributes to the increasing growth of popularity in fast fashion companies. Regardless of their intention, they are still promoting it. If they were to say where their clothes are from, their audience may buy those clothes themselves. Many of these influencers are not aware of the issue with fast fashion so they believe what they are doing is harmless even when it is not.

Social media is also the place where trends are created. Fast fashion companies have a close watch on what’s popular and quickly change what they sell. Often these trends are popular amongst young people, a survey taken by students at Cresskill High School shows that over 70% of teens have bought clothes because they saw it on social media, many of them also buying from fast fashion brands. As trends change, so do the items companies are putting out. While these are often fads, fast fashion brands quickly manufacture their clothes which as mentioned before, is part of what makes it so bad for the environment.

Despite the number of consumers social media has attracted for fast fashion brands, it still raises awareness to the issue. Over 70% of students at Cresskill High School have not heard of fast fashion before social media. Companies won’t say that they treat their workers unfairly, or that they are damaging to the environment, but activists will. There are influencers speaking out against fast fashion and directing attention to reality. Thanks to how easy it is to share information on social media, people are starting to recognize the harmful effects of buying from unsustainable companies and learning new alternatives.

With social media there really are negative as well as positive effects towards fast fashion. As a consumer it is important to not give into buying from these brands. While others might recommend these clothes, try your best to find an alternative product from a sustainable brand.