The Fast Fashion Industry and Consumer Responses to Alternatives


  • Hannah Steger
  • Allison Day


The fast fashion industry has been a subject of controversy for some time, dividing consumers over their opinions and shopping habits, between the positives and the negatives of the industry. This research is an examination of whether or not consumers would continue to shop fast fashion after being presented with alternatives. Fast fashion is an industry described as producing affordable clothing that copies the latest styles and markets them as fast as possible, without making the consumer pay full price. Though the prices are often very cheap, so is the quality of the clothing. Companies in the fast fashion industry are known for their rapid production of the latest trends to get them out on the floor as soon as possible, sometimes before the average consumer is aware of the trend. This high-speed process is certain to cause harm along the way. Many fast fashion companies have received allegations of unfair treatment of labor, sexual misconduct, and paying below the minimum wage (Crespo, 2019). There are major environmental and social injustice concerns with the industry, spanning from the contamination of local water sources caused by textile dyes to underpaying factory workers and subjecting them to harsh, inhumane working conditions. This research explores consumer perceptions of sustainable, ethical alternatives to fast fashion shopping in an effort to impact the future shopping choices of consumers in the fashion industry.






Human Ecology