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If Gen Z killed fast fashion, why is fast fashion still booming?

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The number of people shopping second-hand has skyrocketed in recent years, but for countless complex reasons they are not ready to give up Boohoo’s transportations. just now

Generation Z’s buying habits could spell the end of fast fashion; Saving as Rebellion: How Gen Z Killed Fast Fashion; Gen Z is leading a shopping evolution that could kill brands as we know them. These headlines, and others like them, have plagued newspapers, business journals and fashion publications for the past 18 months. And they are right, to a point. As thredUPs Report 2020 revealed, the second-hand market is expected to grow to $ 64 billion over the next five years, ultimately leading fast fashion by 2029 and its Gen Z and millennials embracing the second hand faster than any other age group.

Reports like this are certainly reassuring when they were increasingly exposed to the dark. belly of the fast fashion industry, but they forget one inescapable fact: fast fashion is booming. Arcadia enters administration, Forever21 depositor bankruptcy, and H&M plans to close 250 stores worldwide It may seem like the beginning of the end of fast fashion, but consumers have simply increased the sticks and headed for even cheaper and faster ecommerce retailers.

Despite claims of unsafe and unfair working conditions at its Leicester supplier factories, sales of Boohoos increased by 45% between February and August 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the number of buyers increasing by about a third, to 17.4 million. At this time, the internet is looking for cheap clothes climbed 46 percent, while Missguided saw sales of her homewear soar 700 percent, and people were more likely to search for clothes that cost less than 5 years.

Job losses and low incomes may explain why some are adopting cheap fast fashion brands like Boohoo, Missguided and Pretty Little Thing, which sold pieces for as little as 8p in its Black Friday sale. The main reason I buy fashion items fast is because of the cost, says author Zoe May. Clothes that are made more ethically and locally are often much more expensive, so consumers like me may feel left out of being able to make this moral decision.

Rosa, 17, agrees. The main reason (why I shop for fashion fast) is because I am on a very low income, they say. Another reason is that I am a fat person so my normal size is XL but I am also autistic so I do not wear this size due to sensory issues. In fact, I wear a 4 or 5XL most of the time and sustainable fashion does not quite rule out these sizes.

Jessie, 20, also cites sensory issues as a quick fashion buying engine. I have autism and certain tissues can trigger sensory overload for me, they say. I have a feeling that sensory accessibility is not something that a lot of people consider when they talk about making ethical fashion accessible to people. Returns, especially free returns, are vital for me to find clothes that I can actually wear as I end up having to return a lot.

From waist inclusiveness to income, there are compelling reasons for many to turn to fast fashion. However, it’s not just those in need of fast fashion who are behind the boom in fast fashion. Many still buy there although they can afford to buy elsewhere, as beautifully illustrated when a model complained that his 18 Missguided suit had ruined his Porsche 60k.

The poor argument is intellectually dishonest, fashion writer Aja Barber commented in 2020. Fast fashion is a problem perpetuated by the middle class and the rich. The poor collectively do not have the funds to maintain this extremely profitable cycle.

So why do so many people keep insisting that they can’t afford the trendy, fast-paced alternatives when they make multiple purchases each month or week?

People aren’t very good at math, especially when they’re impulsive, says Kate Nightingale, chief consumer psychologist and founder of Style psychology. Additionally, the emotions and psychological benefit of five or six pieces of fast fashion may be different from that of one or two lasting pieces. We need a different way of marketing sustainable development that goes much deeper into our psyche and responds to other desires than just being environmentally friendly.

Clothing made more ethically and locally is often much more expensive, so consumers like me may feel deprived of being able to make this moral decision Zoe May

Divergent desires may explain the many young people who do not sit firmly in one or the other camp, but buy both second hand and fast fashion to meet different needs. For Claudia, 26, fast fashion is all about convenience, availability and price. If I want a black long sleeve turtleneck top, I can literally type it up and (ASOS) give me options. If I don’t go there, where will I get the things I want details for? But her buying habits put her in conflict. If I were to buy it, so would my conscience. So now that I’m learning more I’m like, no I shouldn’t be doing that, but I really like this top !, “she said.

I’m really aware of the impact of fast fashion, continues Claudia, citing both human rights issues and the environmental perspective as incentives to buy second hand. It’s so much better to give love to an object that has already had a little bit of life, and it’s normally a little more unique too, she says.

But for Claudia, the second hand just doesn’t meet her needs. I would love to see the end of fast fashion, definitely. I just feel like the second hand is everywhere, she said.

Madeleine, 25, agrees. My reasons for doing fast fashion shopping are ease of access, saving time and reducing costs, she says. And I know it’s nasty because of the environmental impact, but another reason is how easy it is to return items that aren’t right for you.

Like Claudia, Madeleine cites environmental reasons for second-hand shopping and appreciates the premium quality of vintage items, buying jeans, shoes and sweaters that are built to last. I bought a pair of vintage Pepe jeans on eBay for 12 and I guarantee they will outlast my ASOS, she says.

She recently cut spending at ASOS after hearing how they were treating their warehouse workers during the lockdown, but questions the opportunity as a viable replacement for fast fashion. I think accessibility to trendy second-hand items may be limited, she says. This can sometimes be a drain of money and the prices are massively inflated for what they are. Just look at Depop and the quantity of Y2K items and their prices.

Noticing the disconnect between Generation Z and Generation Y, considered the awakened generations who will save the world and continue to invest in fast fashion, Nikolas Rnholt, a master’s student at Aarhus University, has decided to search the problem. Working with his colleague Malthe Overgaard, he interviewed consumers aged 22 to 26, covering the cross between the Gen Z and Millennial age groups.

Providing anonymity to participants allowed them to be honest in their responses. Loving clothes is the most important thing, commented one participant. Then I start to compromise with my other beliefs. If I think a shirt (from a fast fashion brand) is cool, I buy it even if it’s not produced sustainably too because I can get it on the cheap.

This justification echoes that of Sam *, who chose not to give his real name. I do fast fashion for really selfish reasons, they told me. I don’t agree with this and try to be aware of the surroundings for the rest of my life. I use reusable water bottles and sanitary products, I don’t drive and I avoid plastic where I can, but I still do even if it’s not a financial necessity. It’s a question of choice. I want to be able to browse 500 skirts in one place and buy and try on heaps at once.

Significantly, the anonymity that allows people to discuss the mismatch between their values ​​and their buying habits can also empower them. With low prices, easy return policies, and free shipping, marketers have made the buying decision process for consumers a lot easier. As a result, purchases made online require minimal cognitive consideration on the part of the consumer, explains Rnholt.

I shop for fast fashion for really selfish reasons. I don’t agree with this and try to be aware of the surroundings for the rest of my life. I use reusable water bottles and sanitary products, I don’t drive and I avoid plastic where I can, but I still do even if it’s not a financial necessity Sam *

Nightingale notes how e-commerce brands capitalize not only on anonymity, but also on the psychological traits and needs of their target market. We have to keep in mind that Gen Z is currently at an age where they are still developing their identity, she explains. This means they have to try out different skins to find out who they are, who they want to be and how people react to them in those different skins. This, along with their not fully developed impulse control, makes them more susceptible to many of these tactics affecting the subconscious and inducing impulsivity.

Despite indulging in fast fashion, many consumers are aware of its impact and struggle to reconcile their purchases with their values. Clothes get more expensive if they are durable and that makes me ignore that, although I know I should probably buy it instead of the t-shirt costing DKK 30 (3.63) on sale, l noted. one of Rnholts interviewees.

It’s something that really bothers me, said Rosa. Fast fashion being the only fashion accessible to me, it’s really bad because I’m a climate activist and navigating that duality is weird.

Ultimately, consumers want to see the changes coming from brands. Our results reveal a paradoxical attitude among fast fashion consumers in that while sustainability is not factored into their fashion decisions, they still expect fast fashion brands to promote sustainability, says Rnholt.

Nine out of ten Gen Z consumers believe companies have a responsibility to tackle environmental and social issues, but price, while not a necessity, continues to drive their decisions. So it seems it’s up to brands to make sure every purchase is ethical. It’s not a decision I should have to make in the first place, Jessie said.



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