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Shopper criticizes fast fashion's effect on thrifting: 'Cheap clothes are flooding thrift stores and it makes it harder to find the good stuff'

"I've noticed this too."

"I've noticed this too."

Photo Credit: iStock

Thrift store shoppers are a unique bunch, renowned for their keen eye for hidden gems and budget-friendly finds. They are also known for speaking their mind when they find something that might be considered disruptive to their daily budget shopping experience.

So it was for one thrift shopper who recently took to Reddit with the complaint that poorly made articles of clothing from fast fashion retailers like Shein are beginning to show up in thrift shops in large quantities. 

The shopper stated in the post, "I find it alarming because SHEIN is not that old of a 'store'. All of those items had to have been purchased from SHEIN in what, the past 5 years? And have already been donated? This just seems crazy to me."

More important than the negative effect cheaply made fast fashion clothing has on the thrift store shopping experience is the potentially devastating effect it has on the environment. The Reddit poster also mentioned the recent HBO documentary "Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion," which shined a bright light on the environmental damage and labor exploitation of the fast fashion industry through a lens of the brand Brandy Melville. 

While the allure of trendy, low-cost fashion is undeniable, it comes with significant drawbacks that affect both the retail landscape and the environment. This recent Saturday Night Live bit on "fast fashion" takes a humorous look at the trend. 

Fast fashion's business model focuses on producing vast quantities of clothing quickly and cheaply. This results in an oversupply of low-cost items that are often priced competitively with, or even lower than, thrift store offerings. As a result, consumers are increasingly opting for new items rather than second-hand goods, reducing foot traffic and sales in thrift stores.

Shein epitomizes this fast fashion model, constantly releasing new collections and encouraging frequent purchases. This practice leads to a high turnover of clothing items, many of which are quickly discarded.

However, there are thrift shoppers out there who simply won't be fooled by the fast fashion trend. 

Another thrift shopper in the Reddit thread noted, "One of the main reasons I like thrifting is because old clothes tend to be higher quality. I want a sweater made in the nineties that'll last me until the thirties, not some fast fashion [B.S.] made last year that'll fall apart before next year."

🗣️ Which factor would motivate you to pay more for a sustainable product?

🔘 Superior quality 💎

🔘 Trendier style ✨

🔘 Bigger environmental impact 💚

🔘 I wouldn't pay more 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Another agreed: "I've noticed this too. Lots of cheap cheap clothes are flooding thrift stores and it makes it harder to find the good stuff. I've slowly become such a label reader because of this!"

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