The dark side from cheap, fast fashion websites. An honest review.

We have all heard from websites that sell $5 “on-trend, influencer-approved” bikinis, dresses, shoes, and countless other garments. However, do you know the reason why? Over this blog post, we want to get deeper into this! And let us tell you something! : it is not pretty.

Some of the websites such as “Shein” advertise themselves as “fast-fashion” websites. According to Oxford languages, fast fashion is “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. For example, websites such as She in drop “700-1,000 new styles daily.”(according to a Forbes article). Do you have any rough idea of how bad is this for the environment? Or the human labor behind these drops?. Yes, you are right, not the most ethical thing in the world.

The major problem is most of these websites offer low prices and of course, low quality too. The reason why the clothes you buy will end up as waste in a few months. Moreover, most of the textiles they use do not decay, meaning will end up as fast-fashion waste. Carbon emissions are also a problem, imagine the number of factories it takes to drop from “700-1,00” styles daily.

Also, most of these websites have false advertising. Do you wonder how? Let’s get into that. Some of their product pictures are simply stolen from other fashion brands, they try to copy the same style with cheaper quality (aka cheaper cost), and boom! When your package gets to you, you wonder why it does not look like the one in the picture.

According to some, these websites are such a “ hit or miss”. Either you get something you can wear, or get a terrible piece that will also be late in your mailbox. Remember, most of these companies pay some influencers to get “positive” reviews about them. Here is a review we found from a “ not sponsored” influencer, and let us tell you something: it has the level of honesty we are looking for!. 

With the rise of technology, fast fashion brands can copy designs within a very small timeframe. As said before, fast fashion plagiarism consists of fast fashion companies copying runway designs, as they can imitate these designs long before the originals are released, how hard is this for Ann's honest fashion brand? Very, we must say...

We got Emma Warren, for example, was only alerted to the copy by a fan who messaged her. This completely removes any autonomy that the original designers have over their creations.  

This type of plagiarism impacts bigger brands and independent designers as well. However, independent designers are not able to fight back due to high court costs and disputes. Bigger companies and corporations usually have entire teams dedicated to patents and trademarks, however, how can a small brand afford this?.

Also, copyright law does not usually cover clothing itself. They do cover brand names and logos. The reason why what usually happens is that the original designer gets compensated for the stolen design or simply gets a percentage of the sales ( this is not the usual situation).

There are some accounts over Instagram that talk about how some fast fashion companies copy designs. This is our favorite one:

Another key factor to consider with websites such s Boohoo and Shein is their labor conditions. It should come as no surprise that websites such as these make as much effort for people as it does for the planet, meaning: 0% effort. Workers should have the right to a living wage, collective bargaining, and an abuse-free work environment. Wondering why these prices are so cheap? Labor costs in other countries such as China, Turkey, etc are less than in developed countries. Meaning workers work more hours for brutally low wages.

Moreover, some of these websites appeal to their customers by using a couple of “ eco-friendly” materials on some items. However, there is no evidence over the website or supply chain policies anywhere. Are these websites taking special attention to environmental causes? no. Actually, from hazardous chemicals to carbon emissions to microplastics, these companies are making no effort.

Let’s face it, every single industry over this world produces waste. The problem is when some companies take advantage of this for economical growth purposes. This is not ethical. Have you ever think about how a pair of jeans or bikini is made? The number of processes from sample creation, to fittings, pattern developments, choosing the right fabrics. This is a long process every single brand must go through, and trust us! It is a costly process if you pay your workers correctly, and do the right amount of products at a high-quality level.

The reason why it is nearly impossible for any skirt to cost $5 with free shipping included. When you see this there are two options: either the company needs to run a sale and sell inventory that was not sold before to get cash or this is simply a “ dark” company.

Sometimes we indeed need to save some money and get low pricing finds! However, next time you do it regularly think about which can of industry you are feeding and the people behind it.

Fast fashion and design copying will be a long fight. The main reason is that many companies are benefiting from these techniques. However, they say change starts with one person. Are you gonna be the one?.

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With love, the Ishine team.