Fast fashion has been a way of life for some of our favourite clothing brands for many years. More recently, social media outlets such as: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to name a few, have gone to lengths to shine a light on the impact some of our most loved fast fashion brands are having on our environment and society. This article aims to raise awareness amongst high street consumers so they are more informed when they hit the shops.
In 2020, H&M stopped paying its contracted garment factories using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse. Following a great deal of pressure put on the company, H&M promised to pay their garment factories.
By 2040, H&M has said it aims to be climate positive. Ironically, this is 10 years after what will be the impending climate crisis based on the predictions of the United Nations.
The brand also recently removed their Supplier Compliance data from their Supplier List meaning we cannot see whether all comply or have not complied.
Urban Outfitters is a flagship brand of URBN. They create and sell multiple collections of clothing a year, making them a fast fashion brand. Unfortunately, the company refuses to share any information about its supply chain, as does its flagship brand URBN.
Zara is a flagship brand of Inditex, which is one of the largest fast fashion companies in the world. Inditex uses local labour to increase the speed of production. While the business invests heavily in using sustainable materials, it does very little to ensure that workers are paid fairly. The brand also stopped paying its garment factories altogether when it was faced with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It only recently began to start paying them again after external pressure.
This clothing brand is probably one of the most vilified fast fashion brands in the United Kingdom. It often bears the brunt of fast fashion criticism due to its low cost items. Over the years, a few incidents have caused concern in regards to their workers.
For example, in 2015 an SOS message was found in Primark clothing from an alleged torture victim from China. In 2018, a human bone was found in a Primark sock.
In 2020, Primark stopped paying their garment factories and are yet to rectify this.
This online fashion brand makes over £850 million a year in revenue and they reportedly pay subcontracted staff illegally low wages, as little as £3.50 per hour in UK factories. On their online store, they have 36,000 products which clearly demonstrates the high speed and vast nature of their business.