Fast Fashion for Men: A Lesser Known Evil

The debate over blaming fast fashion oscillates between the company and the consumer. But when neither wants to take the blame, something has to give. In this case, it is Earth.

While we criticize each other’s choices to buy fast fashion or not; buy used, or not; fast fashion continues to grow and produce, and the environment continues to suffer the consequences.

A small but saturated market

Most fast fashion consumers are women. Marketing activities are often aimed at them, most of the inventory is women’s clothing, and in general, women’s fashion is a bigger market than men’s fashion.

But no doubt, male consumers of fast fashion are also prevalent, creating demand with these companies for an entirely new target market. Fast menswear is a new opportunity for more production, more sales and more money.

Even today, while still a small industry, men’s fast fashion has contributed to the unequivocal rise of giants like Shein. Over the past five years, Shein’s revenue has grown by 2465%.

This astronomical shift is due to the works of social media and influencer marketing, but Shein opening up her brand to a new genre has also undoubtedly played a major role in boosting sales.

Pictured: Shein’s earnings from 2016 to 2021 | Photo credit: Business of Apps

The same book just a different page

Despite the difference in styles and the extent of the damage, both men’s and women’s fast fashion are destructive to the environment. A highly responsive supply chain operates beyond consumer demand, resulting in an excess of products and materials that pollute the Earth.

Overproduction and overconsumption are two of humanity’s greatest downfalls. As landfills overflow, freshwater rivers become contaminated and oxygen depletes as more carbon dioxide and chemicals are pumped into the air, hurting our ecosystems.

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By supporting fast fashion companies, we propel these actions; we cause devastation, depredation and ultimately desolation. Individually, our only defense against these consequences is to only buy used. Our planet can no longer afford to produce new clothes.

Whether we have accepted the materialistic tendencies of our society or live in a state of ignorance and denial, there is work to be done. Work that our Earth desperately needs us to do; despite our many differences in opinion, identity, economic status or geographic location, we are all responsible for doing what we can to help save our planet.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own and not those of the featured photo: Clothing and accessories for men. Featured photo credit: NorWood Themes.

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