Ultra-fast fashion company Shein is 'even worse than you thought'

Originally published at: Ultra-fast fashion company Shein is 'even worse than you thought' | Boing Boing


Fast Fashion? Each year or two I buy a few pairs of black cargoes, a bunch of black t-shirts, a week’s worth of black undies and black socks.


Look, I’m OK going around naked all day, letting it all hang out for all to see. I care about the waste we send to landfills and am fully prepared to do my part. Who’s with me? Come on folks , this could become a thing !!!


October is, maybe, the wrong time of year to try kicking off this movement in the Northern Hemisphere.


My fashion has not evolved much past the discount jean rack. The only new clothes items I generally buy are underwear, socks, and work boots. Second hand clothing is such a good deal, I can’t bring myself to spend the extra money for new.


The last clothes I bought new were 7 pairs black jeans when Levi had a sale. Proudly rock Goodwill fashion most of the time. The only reason I have all new clothes now and not the stuff I wore 15 years ago is because of flood damage.


You can do naked if you want, but I gotta cover this with something. :slight_smile:


I try to buy for quality and durability as well as items that fit, look good and drape well on my frame. It costs a little more, but I figure I can’t go wrong following the advice of Pratchett and Vimes. When it comes to the cheaper stuff, I buy classics in enough quantity (about 2-3 weeks’ worth) that the rotation makes each piece last at least five years

That said, I’m a self-employed cis-het male, so I’m playing on Scalzi’s easy mode when it comes to expectations about fashion. I hope more awareness of the toxicity of fast fashion extends that privilege to more people.


Yeah, I’m slotting right in here with you folks. I may buy one or two new shirts a year on average, and maybe a few pairs of underwear and socks, a pair of sneaker or boots. Or slippers, always need good slippers. That’s it. This fast fashion, clothing is disposable stuff is just another reflection of how far and fast we’re tumbling down this slope of “profts over all” as a society. Just buy, consume, discard, repeat.


Right?!? I found a good fit and bought 3 pairs of pants a couple/three years ago and they’re still in rotation. Even my carharts last a few years, as long as I don’t mind them being stained with paint and plaster, which I don’t.
Most of my stuff is bought used, but I’ll splurge on a few things every couple years if I find something great.
Those statistics (one new item every five days?!?) blow my mind period, but especially when I think of, for everyone like those of us back here, someone is buying almost twice that amount.


My wardrobe does expand somewhat from companies sending me shirts with their logos on them. It’s not like I have to go out and buy these and fashion is something I largely ignore.

The wool sweater I’m wearing today is one my parents gave me when I was in high school (more than 45 years ago). Even better, I still regularly put on the gray cashmere sweater my mom gave as a present to my dad when they were dating as teenagers.


Comparing this to the underwear I’ve had for 20 years I believe I’m doing my part to help the environment.




I’m doing my part. I have t-shirts over 20 years old I still wear. I have clothes I haven’t worn in years but can’t bring myself to donate them.

So, can’t we shred and make new thread out of old clothes? Or are the fibers being woven make it so that will not longer work? Or is the variable polycount mean it is no good? It seems if we are throwing away literal mountains of clothes, the would be a way to recycle it.

PS - I hate throwing clothe away. I try to donate everything I can, unless it is underwear or just horribly dirty. Socks become garage and gun cleaning rags, but I wear out socks faster than I use them up.


I’m not sure I’ve ever understood the definition of “fast fashion.” As I understand it, isn’t it just cheaply-made mass-produced doomed-to-wear-out-after-a-year “clothing?” If so, how is it different from the crap sold at Old Navy or Target or Walmart? Isn’t that just clothing for people who can’t afford to sink a grand at a time on a few pair of quality jeans? And if so, is it reasonable to expect people who aren’t making six figures to change their purchasing habits?

I’m not taking issue here, I just genuinely don’t understand what we’re talking about when we say “fast fashion.” I am painfully aware of my own ignorance of the sartorial arts. :slight_smile:


Let’s be careful here. There are a whole lot of “I am not in the category of a person who shops for fashion” category posts here that are then passing judgment. I am one of these people; no amount of fashion will make me look good, so I am not the target audience for this. But I fully support those who enjoy making an effort. Wanting to be presentable and unique is not inherently an issue (provided it comes from a place of genuine interest vs, say, peer pressure and fashion magazines convincing one that they must do so.)

One of the issues here, I wager, is that while telling the difference between, say, fast and slow food is pretty straightforward, I don’t think fast and slow fashion is as obvious. Thanks to the Author for providing some sites that attempt to do the legwork there to help one find sources of “slow fashion” in this context!

Lastly, as with fast- vs slow food, I’m sure there’s also a class-based division here. I’m sure slow fashion means you are spending more to create these garments, which are thusly more expensive to produce and sold at a higher price. As with many other sustainability initiatives, only those with the financial security to do so can think about the ethics of what they are purchasing because they have the extra income to do so. Those who do not have to choose between giving up yet another pleasure in their lives or making a far more considerable effort searching donated goods, second-hand shops, etc., to find clothing than those who have the income to skip all of this.

Again, as with so many other sustainability initiatives, IMHO, disincentivizing unsustainable practices while incentivizing sustainable, fair-trade ones would go a long way to clearing all of this up, provided it can be done in a way that does not increase the burden on the poorest classes as, say, taxing fast fashion world. I know we’re not talking food staples here. However, we should still offer even the most disadvantaged the opportunity to feel good about themselves rather than simply subsist. That includes being able to afford something other than a potato sack to wear that isn’t destroying the planet or made with sweatshop labour.


Fast fashion specifically means ripping off the latest high fashion trends as quickly as possible.


Or go thrifting.


A reminder: buying used clothes from thrift stores is even more environmentally friendly that buying new from even the most responsible clothing brands. And there are a lot of high-quality thrift stores out there these days.