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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Fast Fashion and Its Effects on the Environment


Nowadays, it is hard to escape fast fashion. Brands like Fashion Nova, H&M, and Shein take advantage of fast manufacturing to hop onto the latest fashion trends and reproduce them in mass quantities for much cheaper. It allows people to access traditionally more expensive pieces of clothing for much cheaper, but it also promotes waste and single-use wear. 

This trend began in the 1990s, as clothes shopping became more and more focused on trends. People wanted access to trendy clothes at a cheaper price, which led to the rise of cheaply priced, poorly made clothes that would often change with the trends. It became cheap to dress in style, but there are consequences that come with that privilege. With the clothes being cheaply made, they do not last and end up in landfills quicker than traditional clothes. According to, out of the 100 billion garments made each year, 92 million tons of them end up in landfills. In addition, that number is expected to trend upwards to 134 million tons a year by 2030.

The pandemic only added fuel to the fire, with consumers ditching retailers like H&M and Zara for e-commerce retailers like Shein and Fashion Nova. By existing entirely online, they can release thousands of new styles daily while also hopping on the latest clothing trends. In addition, by using overseas labor and synthetic textiles, they are able to keep prices extremely low. They often entice consumers by offering major discounts on their orders through flash sales and coupons in order to increase the feeling of missing out on a major deal. 

In addition to questionable quality, they only exacerbate their environmental effects by relying heavily on international shipping, which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The textiles they use, often synthetic blends such as polyester and nylon, are also petroleum-based, meaning that the materials they use are often already contributors to climate change. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, an estimated 16% of microplastics originate from washing synthetic textiles, with other estimates raising that percentage up to 35%. 

For many consumers, it is a worthwhile trade-off, as they can dress as they wish for much cheaper than they would regularly be able to. However, when approximately 85% of textiles are thrown away in the US and the production of clothes releases an estimated 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases each year, consumers should be more aware of the impacts of their shopping habits.

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About the Contributor
Noah Gallo
Noah Gallo, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Noah Gallo, a senior at Danbury High School. I am a staff writer for the Hatters Herald, the school paper. This is my first year writing for the school paper as I wanted to try my hand at journalism and writing. I enjoy writing and I want to inform others of events going on in the school because as an underclassman, it felt like I never knew what was going on around me. Aside from writing, I am interested in photography, photo and video editing, coding, cybersecurity, and music.

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