Fast fashion: cute, but unsustainable


The packaging in which Shein delivers their items can be seen as wasteful and unnecessary.

Shein hauls. The newest fashion trend that has dragged along piles of problems with it. If you get on that side of TikTok, you will find hours worth of Shein hauls, where people will buy hundreds of dollars worth of clothes from the fashion brand, Shein. There are so many problems with this, but let’s narrow it down to a few main issues.

1. Money = quality. 

You get what you pay for, and if you’re paying very little, you should not expect that item to be extremely high quality. Many people don’t take into account that the only way the business could afford to charge so low for clothing is to make it kind of haphazardly/not with the proper care that you would see in a more sustainable brand.

2. Most of those pieces of clothes that you thought you would love forever, end up in the trash or at Goodwill.

Because of places like Shein, a new phenomenon has been created called microtrends. It’s becoming a more common occurrence in which certain styles of clothing will be trendy for a few weeks or maybe a month if you’re lucky, before it’s no longer cool. All these new pieces are constantly being produced and sent out to the public so that they can buy them–it makes it hard to keep up with trends (if you even consider microtrends to be trends at all). 

3. Most of the designs provided at places like Shein are stolen from independent fashion designers.

So many instances have independent designers spoken up about the injustice they’ve experienced through their designs being stolen. Those designers can’t help but feel like they will never succeed with these businesses thriving on their hard work and talent.

4. The working conditions in the factories of fast fashion brands tend to be terrible.

Although Shein has yet to fully release the extent of the working conditions they put their employees through, pieces of shocking evidence have leaked through the seemingly inconspicuous guidelines. Anonymous researchers traveled to Guangzhou, China to get a peek into the working conditions at Shein factories, and reported that many employees would end the week with nearly 75 hours under their belts. Those same researchers also reported that the buildings in which they worked had no emergency exits and barred windows, seemingly not to let the employees escape. Who wants to support that? Historically, no emergency exits and locked doors/windows never turned out well (see the Triangle Shirtwaist Incident of 1911). 

5. Most of all, the amount of damage brands like Shein have on our environment is ghastly.

The carbon emissions that come from factories like Shein and even places like Amazon have no possibility of being safe for the people, let alone the earth. Just the packaging that Shein places their items in is unsustainable. They place every individual item of clothing in zip-up vinyl bags–which cannot possibly be good for the landfills that are already filled with non-degradable plastics and other wastes.

All in all, Shein is bad. Bad for the environment, bad for their workers, bad for the outcome of the clothing, and bad for the development of the fashion industry. Places like Shein tarnish the true meaning of fashion–to have fun and enjoy the way you look.