top of page

Fast Fashion & Consumer Trends / By: Amira Maurice

Where did you buy that new shirt? It is likely that your clothes are a piece of fast fashion. Fast fashion, because of its characteristic rapid manufacturing and affordability, has proven to be appealing to many young consumers. However, its growth is hindered by unethical industry practices, which have been drawing some consumers away. 

A statistic provided by Business Research Insights details this growth, “According to our latest research, the global Fast Fashion market is projected to reach a valuation of USD 261,104.36 million by 2028,” (LinkedIn, 2023). Fast fashion brands like Shein, Fashion Nova, and H&M, have managed to do this by appealing to young consumers. College student, Sydney Noelani, shares, “Most people my age don’t have a lot of money to spend, so their main concern is how much the clothes cost and how cute it is.” Another way they appeal to consumers is through rapid manufacturing. This allows them to keep up with every trend. This makes fast fashion appealing to young consumers because it allows them to buy trendy pieces of clothing regularly, without having to break the bank.

Despite this growth, in recent years the industry has taken a hit due to unethical practices, like excessive waste. US News & World Report highlighted the business impact of this issue. The HundredX report on Shein discovered that those from 18 to 29 have pulled back sharply on the brand in 2023 [5% decrease], and they're viewing the prices and selection less positively,” (Sandberg, 2023). 

Some brands have committed to being more environmentally friendly.  Gin Ando, an employee of the brand Patagonia, shared some ways the company tries to be sustainable: “We’ve made a lot of progress in using preferred materials when manufacturing clothing. That can be regenerative organic cotton, Yulex natural rubber instead of fossil fuel-based neoprene in wetsuits, and a list of recycled synthetic fibers as well. On top of our work to get off non-recycled polyester — we were the first outdoor clothing manufacturer to recycle soda bottles into fleece.”

Similarly, other brands, like H&M and Adidas, have invested heavily in sustainable technologies to reduce the environmental effects of clothing production. In the foreseeable future, the fast fashion market may continue to change as more companies adopt more sustainable practices, further appealing to the world’s ever-changing consumers.

List Sources:


bottom of page