COVID-19 impact on fast fashion
Fast fashion refers to inexpensive and rapidly produced clothing that closely follows trends and is used by mass-market retailers. The inexpensive, rapidly produced, and trendy clothing is why fast fashion is so popular, and why online stores like Romwe and Shein have boosted in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic began earlier this year.
These online shops were able to easily cater to people’s rapidly changing sense of style due to the wide variety of clothing and accessories they sold. They didn’t stick to one specific style or type of clothing, so they dominated the market when everyone was at home and stuck online.
This begs the question of how they were so easily able to inexpensively and rapidly produce such a large amount of clothing and accessories that all varied in styles. Most Romwe products, for example, are mass-produced in China. This mass production means that the clothes may be of significantly lower quality, and their creation contributes to 10 percent of all humanities carbon creations.
Obviously with COVID, and quarantine, sales of those easy fast fashion products had gone up, likely impacting carbon emissions in a negative way. The emissions of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere is extremely damaging; it breaks down our ozone layer, and that’s what protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
So while fast fashion sales rose during the pandemic and allowed people to discover themselves and try new things, it might’ve also led to increased CO2 emissions, ultimately doing more harm than good.