FIU An Overview of Fast Fashion Essay

The term Fast Fashion describes a business model where trendy clothes representing the latest fashions are manufactured quickly and cheaply in developing countries. The clothes are purchased by consumers largely in Europe and North America and are worn only once or twice before being discarded by the consumers who purchase them. Consumers purchase items largely through social media platforms featuring paid advertisers. In this discussion we will examine the social and environmental impacts of this business model.

Fast Fashion is a rapidly changing business. The COVID pandemic disrupted consumption patterns. While I have tried to include the most recent videos for this topic to keep the information current, there is also some older material. I encourage you to do your own research as well as viewing the videos listed for this Discussion.

There are 5 videos to watch totaling about one hour of viewing time.

  •  (Apr 2023)
  •  from DW (Dec 2021)
  •  from DW (Jan 2021)
  •  from PBS ( July 2023)
  •  from the Canadian Broadcasting Company News Marketplace ( Oct 2021)

Each of you is required to post one substantial post of at least 600 words giving your opinion or reflection on the topic of Fast Fashion. Some suggestions to consider are:

  • Give an overview of fast fashion based on the information presented. What social forces do you think encourage consumers to engage with this business model? How would you answer a person interviewed who stated why she bought fast fashion, “Why pay more (for sustainable clothing) when I can have more for less?”.
  • What are the environmental impacts of each step of “Make -> Wear -> Throwaway” that characterizes fast fashion? How do these impacts relate to the systems approach we are taking to examining the Earth? What about the personal risk of wearing these clothes?
  • Based on your experience, do you think there is a realistic possibility for a widespread change in consumer behavior and lessening of environmental impacts? Can we make fashion sustainable?
  • Discuss any other aspect of fast fashion that you think is important.
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