by Ayisat Bisiriyu
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
Fast fashion and its contribution to environmental waste have been a popular topic in the news for years now. Companies such as Zara and H&M were called out for harmful global effects and unethical labor practices. As fast fashion rises in popularity, Gen Z has been accused of buying into a trend attributed to social media.
For many that are part of Gen Z, the quickest and easiest way to boost their confidence and feel comfortable in new social environments is to dress according to what’s trending. With social media moving trend cycles at a much faster pace than they did decades ago, young people have a harder time keeping up with outfits that their peers deem acceptable, even more so with the virtual panopticon social media creates. The pressure to always look put-together seems to loom over Gen Z more than it has in past generations.
It’s no surprise that many fast fashion companies exploit this anxiety. Slogans such as “weird girl” or “y2k” encourage people to achieve a certain look. For those looking to replicate styles that they see on social media or around school campuses, fast fashion seems like a simple solution to find cheap versions of these desired styles.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.