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5 Fast-Fashion Brands To Stay Away From Buying

3 min read
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Today’s fashion industry consists mainly of fast-fashion clothing companies. “Fast fashion” refers to brands that produce large quantities of clothing in a short period of time. Doing so ensures that these brands can follow along with current trends and keep up with the quick pace of the fashion industry.

While fast fashion is affordable and trendy, purchasing from these companies isn’t great for your finances. Large volumes of clothes being produced in a short time frame means the clothes aren’t great quality and often don’t last more than a few washes.

Here are five fast-fashion companies that shopping and money-saving experts say you should stay away from.

Shein

This fashion retailer has grown to immense popularity, even becoming the world’s most popular fashion brand in 2022 and overcoming brands like Nike and Adidas as the most-Googled clothing brand, according to Time. Shein is known for its incredibly low prices and fast production cycle, and Yenia Hernández Fonseca, contributing writer for Margo Paige, said that this is possible only by using poor-quality materials and underpaying workers.

“When you shop at Shein, you’re not just encouraging dangerous conditions for underpaid workers, but you’re also spending money on products that won’t last and will eventually have to replace,” she said.

Angel Tirina, creator of Couture Confidante, said that Shein is the worst fast-fashion company when it comes to quality.

“The item never really looks like the image and is guaranteed to fall apart after a wash or two,” Tirina said.

Forever 21

One of the largest fast-fashion retailers in America, Forever 21 feeds into the fast-fashion business model of creating large quantities of product in a short time frame. While consumers are drawn to fashionable pieces at low costs, these clothes soon become undesirable when they are no longer in style, according to Victor Zhu, CEO of Zechuang Clothing Co. Ltd.

“This cycle not only strains budgets, but also contributes to environmental waste,” Zhu said. “Investing in higher-quality, timeless pieces from reputable brands can ultimately save money and reduce waste.”

H&M

While fast fashion is damaging to both your finances and the environment, many fast-fashion brands, including H&M, have started to move toward more sustainable practices. However, H&M has been accused of racism and stealing designs, and the ethical and financial values of H&M and other companies are still to be considered. According to Jinny Lee, co-founder of Comfy Sock Shoes, H&M still produces poor-quality clothing that doesn’t last.

“Even though the pricing at H&M may appear to be enticing, the low-cost items produced by these stores sometimes have poor quality and short life spans, resulting in repeated replacements and increased spending over the long run,” Lee said.

Zara

Similar to H&M, Zara is a widely popular fast-fashion chain that has been accused of child labor, racism and poor working conditions. Additionally, Zara produces millions of clothing articles daily, resulting in poor-quality clothes with a short life expectancy.

Lee said that purchasing from better-quality brands and buying timeless and more durable pieces will save you money in the long term.

Stradivarius

“I would categorize Stradivarius as a Zara for teenagers,” Tirina said.

Stradivarius is coveted for its trendy clothes and is said to have cheaper prices than Zara. However, Tirina said, the quality of Stradivarius clothing looks very poor in person when compared with online pictures.

“The brand really tries to save every penny on the quality of its items,” Tirina said. “The primary problem I have with the brand is its metal details, such as buttons and studs on shoes. The quality of metal really cheapens the look.”

If you want to save money while buying clothing, shopping from fast-fashion brands is not a great financial decision. While these companies’ clothing is affordable, it is due to the poor quality of the clothes. Buying clothes less often and spending money on higher-quality, longer-lasting clothing will be a better long-term investment for both your finances and your wardrobe.

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