Fast fashion: Why can’t we stop ourselves? | Teen Ink

Fast fashion: Why can’t we stop ourselves?

July 18, 2022
By Lilyyao16 BRONZE, Blairstown, New Jersey
Lilyyao16 BRONZE, Blairstown, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Whenever I step into a mall or visit a clothing store online, I am bombarded with words like “next big trends” and “new coming” with some type of discount or deal attached to the promotions. Ampting to tell people that their clothes are out of date, and they need to buy some more new clothes. Some people might argue that they are using their own money for buying clothes and they are truly gaining joy from it; so, why can’t we keep on this fast fashion trend of clothing? 


This fast fashion led by clothing companies manipulates consumers into buying things they don’t need and is both harmful for the environment. Through COP26, it was agreed by everyone that fashion is one of the industries that is polluting the planet the worst. Also, as Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts, emissions of textile production in 2030 would rise more than 60% if it keeps on the rate of growth now.


However, nowadays as the environment activists keep trying to tell everyone, it's not a big surprise for most people to know these facts presented above. So, the reason behind why people just can’t stop buying clothes is psychological– consumer behavior. First, when a human purchased some new item, its body would reward it with dopamine, in other words pleasure; this situation could be promoted more if there are attractive offers on the side, just like a “10% off”. Yet, stay cautious with this award; it comes fast and goes fast, and would persuade people to make irrational buying decisions– such as buying clothes in unnecessary situations. 


On the other hand, maintaining social relationships and status is also a big encouragement for consumers to purchase their new outfits. This is where the slogans of fashion trends come in. Although your clothes might still look well preserved, fashion companies would keep pushing the next fashion; and individuals who do not keep up with the trending would feel left out, encouraging us to buy on the new trend and maintain our social status. Hence, it's important for people who have large influence to stand out and refute this idea. For instance, Jill Biden, first lady of the United States, wore recycled outfits from her closet– using her influence to make it acceptable to reuse clothes for historic important events.


Be mindful next time when you step into malls or department stores. Stop and think before your hands, are your clothes really out of date? Are they broken? Dirty? Torned? For most cases, the answer is no. As Benjamin Franklin noted in his memories, “If our desires are to the things of this world, they are never to be satisfied.”



The author's comments:

I do wish people could think more about the true cost to our environment behind the fast fasion.

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