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Listen: Our hour on how fast fashion and social media fuel a high consumption, low quality world.
Fast fashion retailers like Shein sell t-shirts for less than $5 apiece.
The low price point means consumers can buy a lot of clothes for very little. And very often.
But has the rise of ultra-fast, low-quality fashion left consumers unable to recognize well-made clothing?
Three On Point listeners share why they see major value in good quality fashion.
Kathryn Greenwood Swanson, western Massachusetts
Kathryn owns Swanson’s Fabrics, a community fabric and fiber craft store. She started her company during the pandemic, when she says it became clear “knowing how to sew a mask” was more important than ever:
Having a conversation about fast fashion without talking about sewing at home is like having a conversation about fast food without talking about cooking at home. Clothing is supposed to be made for our own bodies, and by ourselves.
Gen Z has a huge appetite to learn how to sew. I have a big TikTok following, and it’s a lot of young people who really want these skills back. We’ve broken the chains between generations about how to pass on this knowledge.
And most people don’t even know that human beings sew their clothing, or that their clothing is made of microplastics, or that it’s going to end up in the landfill. So there are major informational chains that have been broken, and we need to put them back together.
Rachel Clifford, Carmel, CA
Picking up on Kathryn’s point, Rachel highlights how being part of the ‘maker culture’ movement helps her appreciate quality clothing:
I’m 26, so I’m right in-between Gen Z and Millennial. But I heard a lot of talk about sort of haul culture, and fast fashion and things. But I feel like there’s also a really beautiful undercurrent of people learning to make their own clothing. I’m a big-time knitter and crocheter. And I’m learning to sew right now, and I feel like that’s super underrepresented. But it’s a lovely culture that’s also growing on social media.
Taylor Novak, Albuquerque, NM
Second-hand might not always be best. Taylor left us a message in the On Point VoxPop app about her favorite brand of jeans.
I am a Levi’s jeans wearer, and I prefer the modern Levi’s to the vintage. Couple of reasons. The vintage was specifically made to fit a certain type of body. The current, the modern Levi’s has the stretchy material, so you get a better fit out of it. The other comparison is the modern Levi’s are thinner, but we are not utilizing the jeans for gold mining, or physical labor as much.