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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

Brandy Melville or Brandy Hellville?


Fast fashion is a design, manufacturing, and marketing method focused on rapidly producing high volumes of clothing. Clothes are poorly made, widely purchased, rarely worn and quickly thrown away. The goal of fast fashion companies is to encourage people to spend more money on more clothes that they use for a shorter time – the best “bang for your buck.” 

The streaming platform MAX recently released an HBO Original documentary about the toxic culture of teen brand Brandy Melville. The title itself, Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion provides a description of the brand’s global ramifications of fast fashion and the dozens of allegations surrounding racism, anti-feminism, and fatphobia.The brand’s immense popularity, however, has masked a number of troubling issues with Brandy Melville and its CEO, Stephan Marsan. 

Marsan is still the CEO of Brandy Melville and keeps a low profile when it comes to his business. The documentary exposed the fact that Marsan doesn’t have any sort of public presence. How do you run a business that is successful worldwide without ever having an interview about your own company? 

As for the brand’s image, Marsan reportedly preferred skinny redheads, liked Asian girls, and “didn’t want a lot of Black people,” revealed an anonymous shop assistant. Many women of color who worked in the store would work in the stock rooms rather than at the front. Employees of Brandy Melville had to pose for their “daily photograph” every morning – Marsan claimed the photos were for brand research, however, the photos were later on discovered in a text thread between Marsan and a group of executives. 

Behind the “one size fits most” clothes and impossible beauty standards, the company promotes themselves as heavy contributors to global issues caused by fast fashion. Fast fashion contributes to environmental degradation through excessive water usage, pollution from textile dyeing, and the generation of vast amounts of textile waste. The use of synthetic fibers, commonly used in fast fashion, releases microplastics into the environment. “In order for fast fashion to succeed, it needs us to see clothing as something we can just pick up and get rid of”, says former Fashion Editor of Teen Vogue Alyssa Hardy. This was an idea that Brandy Melville ran with. 

There’s a lot more to Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion than influencers who pose in front of white brick walls for Instagram photo shoots. Fast fashion encourages a culture of disposable clothing, where garments are bought and discarded quickly, contributing to a cycle of overconsumption and waste. Brandy Melville is a fast-fashion company that produces cheap, trendy styles at the expense of the environment and low-wage laborers. 

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About the Contributors
Haley Merrill
Haley Merrill, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Haley Merrill, I am a senior at Danbury High School! I have recently discovered my passion for writing in journalism. I am majoring in journalism in college, and wanted to get a head start at my future. I can't wait to write stories and share them with the school newspaper. Looking forward to a great year at the Hatters Herald!
Avery Mikyska
Avery Mikyska, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Avery Mikyska, and I am a senior at Danbury High School. With dreams of becoming a journalist, I decided to join the school newspaper. I am so excited for this year and cannot wait to share my story :)

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